Guinea: Vote count begins after tense election | Guinea

The opposition’s main candidate, Diallo, suggests that President Conde could “cheat” to “grant himself a presidency for life”.

After the election in Guinea, in which the 82-year-old President Alpha Conde is seeking a controversial third term, the vote is counting.

Sunday’s vote follows months of political turmoil in which dozens of people were killed in security measures against mass protests against Conde.

The polls closed after a largely quiet election day, but there are already fears that post-election discord may arise after the opposition’s main antagonist, Cellou Dalein Diallo, suggested that the president could “cheat”.

“Alpha Conde cannot give up its desire to grant itself a presidency for life,” Diallo told reporters on Sunday and warned his rival not to take power with “cunning and violence.”

Before the count began, his supporters condemned the filling of the ballot box and said their observers had encountered obstacles at polling stations.

Guinea’s Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana said there had been “small incidents here and there”.

The results are not expected for several days.

Ten other candidates besides Conde and Diallo contested the poll.

If necessary, a second round runoff is scheduled for November 24th.

Political tensions during the election campaign gave rise to ethnic conflicts. Conde has been accused of exploiting divisions for electoral purposes – an accusation he denies.

Diallo (l) and Conde faced each other twice in tense surveys in 2010 and 2015 [Cellou Binani/AFP]Security Minister Albert Damantang Camara told AFP that there were “no major incidents” on Sunday, but he was concerned about suggestions that Diallo would not accept the result.

Camara asked Diallo to “return to consciousness”.

Mohamed Fode Camara, an official with the Ministry of Social Affairs, said he “feared the day the results will be announced”.

“God will save us,” he said, adding that the Guineans “want peace, not a fight”.

Guinea’s politics are mainly ethnic: the president’s base comes mainly from the ethnic Malinke community and that of Diallo from the Fulani people.

Much of the tension in Guinea relates to a new constitution, which Conde pushed through in March despite mass protests, which argues it would modernize the country.

The move controversially allowed him to bypass a two-term limit on the presidential term.

After decades as an opposition activist, Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and won again in 2015, but rights groups now accuse him of turning to authoritarianism.