Voting proceeds peacefully in Guinea presidential election


A presidential election in Guinea passed smoothly Sunday after violence in the past two days.

Some voters in the capital, Conakry, grumbled that they had not received their voting cards and were unable to cast their ballots.

Apart from that however, the election passed peacefully, with voters appearing to heed the calls of President Alpha Conde and his chief opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo to refrain from engaging in acts of violence.

“I call on citizens of all parties to accept differences of opinion and to respect the choice of each,” Dallio said in an appeal to voters.

“This is the law of democracy. I urge all Guineans citizens to defend their rights and secure their votes.”

Security personnel and armoured vehicles patrolled the streets of Conakry throughout Sunday, while security checkpoints were set up around the city.

Earlier in the day Conde, the frontrunner, appealed to his citizens to vote in peace.

“We are all the same family, please let us vote peacefully together,” he said after casting his vote in Conakry.

Clashes broke out in several areas of the capital Saturday, when members of the ruling Rally of the Guinean People and opposition parties hurled rocks at each other.

In the country’s south-eastern Banankoro district, seven people were killed Friday. Five of them were burned alive and two others were shot dead.

The violence erupted after the Constitutional Court ruled against a request by opposition parties, led by Diallo, 63, to postpone the election, which they say has been heavily rigged in favour of Conde, 77.

Much of the violence in Guinea is believed to be rooted in the political rivalry between the Malinke ethnic group, which backs Conde, and the Fulani, which backs Diallo.

Conde defeated Diallo in the country’s first democratic election in 2010 after years of military rule.

The Guinean electoral commission is due to announce results of Sunday’s vote in the coming days.