Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Guineans Defy Ban on Protests and Demonstrate Against 'Rigged Vote'

Tuesday, July 06, 2010
07:38 Mecca time, 04:38 GMT

Guinea protests over 'rigged polls'

Around 3,000 people marched in Conakry to protest the election results

Police in Guinea have fired teargas at thousands of people marching
against alleged fraud in last month's first round of presidential

The protest took place in the capital Conakry on Monday, in defiance
of a government ban on demonstrations.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, the former prime minister, won the June 27
election with nearly 40 per cent of the vote and is set to go forward
into a runoff with second-placed Alpha Conde on July 18.

But losing parties including supporters of Sidya Toure, another
ex-prime minister, say they have evidence of rigging.

On Monday a crowd of around 3,000 people, largely composed of women, marched in front of the electoral commission and the supreme court chanting "Sidya was cheated" and "we want Sidya for the second round".


Toure missed out on a place in a runoff vote to be the west African
country's first freely elected president, after gaining 15.60 per cent
of the first-round vote, according to provisional results.

Diallo scored 39.72 per cent and Conde 20.67 per cent.

Many of the initial 24 candidates have alleged irregularities in
voting and they have eight days to contest the results, according to
electoral commission rules.

The commission has itself admitted "many cases of fraud".

Over three million Guineans, 77 per cent of registered voters,
participated in the country's first democratic election since
independence from France in 1958 in a bid to end half a century of
civilian and military dictatorships.

Source: Agencies

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