afrol News, 3 July - Former PM Cellou Dalein Diallo and "eternal opposition leader" Alpha Condé received most votes in Guinea's 27 June presidential elections, it was confirmed today. The two will run in a second round on 18 July.
There were great expectations to Guinea's Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), which had organised the country's first-ever democratic polls and was to release provisional results two days ago. But "logistical, transport and security difficulties" led to a 48 hours delay, keeping Guineans to hold their breath in tension.
This night at 2 o'clock, the provisional results were finally presented by the Commission. None of the 24 candidates competing for president won a clean 50 percent victory. Rather, a second polling round will have to be organised on 18 July between the two candidates gathering most votes.
Surprisingly, Mr Diallo of the UFDG received most votes, reaching 39.72 percent according to the CENI. Mr Diallo was Prime Minister in Guinea 2004-06 and now leads the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). He was renowned for trying to fight corruption while heading government. As an opposition leader, he was central to the mass protests in Conakry in September 2009, ending in a bloodbath.
Mr Diallo (58) thus gained more votes than Mr Condé (72), who had been widely seen as favourite to win the presidential election. Mr Condé however came second in the first round, receiving 20.67 percent of the votes.
Mr Condé is the leader of the Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG) opposition party, which for decades has stood up to Guinea's authoritarian regimes. He is widely be
Alpha Condé at rally in Conakry during Guinea's 2010 presidential election campaign
lieved to have won the stolen 1993 presidential elections and was seen to have led the most visited, popular and best financed electoral campaign.
Guinea is being congratulated from the international community for its organisation of the country's first free and fair polls despite enormous infrastructure challenges and a tight schedule. While some irregularities due to logistical problems were registered, observers have so far hailed the poll as fair. No serious security problems occurred.
A second poll round now will be organised on 18 July between the two candidates. This round is still very open, although Mr Diallo's good results seem to favour him.
Mr Condé, although only having less than 21 percent of the votes cast in the first round supporting him, is considered the most antiestablishment candidate in the race, possibly able to gather much of the votes given to other opposition candidates. The "establishment" in Guinea is by far credited by decades of poor government,
However, the age of Mr Condé - 72 years - is speaking against him as Guineans are tired of having an ailing President unable to run the country. Late President Lansana Conté for years was suffering from various diseases making him unable to participate in giving Guinea a steady course at times.
The race, to be decided later this month, still is open. But Mr Diallo has indeed taken a surprising lead.
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