Guinea’s Alpha Conde Wins Third Term

Electoral authorities in Guinea on Saturday declared President Alpha Conde winner of Sunday’s election with 59.49% of the vote, defeating his main rival Cellou Diallo.

Some people went to the streets to protest immediately after the announcement. Such demonstrations have occurred for months after the government changed the constitution through a national referendum, allowing Conde to extend his decade in power.

Opposition candidate Cellou Diallo received 33.50% of the vote, the electoral commission said. Voter turnout was almost 80%.

Political tensions in the West African nation turned violent in recent days after Diallo claimed victory ahead of the official results. Celebrations by his supporters were suppressed when security forces fired tear gas to disperse them.

They accuse the electoral authorities of rigging the vote for incumbent president Alpha Conde.

At least nine people have been killed since the election, according to the government. The violence sparked international condemnation by the U.S. and others.

“Today is a sad day for African democracy,” said Sally Bilaly Sow, a Guinean blogger and activist living abroad. The government should take into account the will of the people who have a desire for change, he said.

ICC warning

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor warned on Friday that warring factions in Guinea could be prosecuted after fighting erupted.

“I wish to repeat this important reminder: anyone who commits, orders, incites, encourages and contributes in any other way to crimes … is liable to prosecution either by the Guinean courts or the ICC,” she said.

On Friday, internet and international calls were cut off across the West African nation in anticipation of the election results, according to locals and international observers in the capital, Conakry.

This was the third time that Conde matched-up against Diallo. Before the election, observers raised concerns that an electoral dispute could reignite ethnic tensions between Guinea’s largest ethnic groups.