Polls close in peaceful Guinea election after tense campaign

Guineans cast ballots for a president on Sunday, with the 82-year-old incumbent Alpha Condé facing his longtime rival Cellou Dalein Diallo for a third time.

President Alpha Conde, 82, is hoping for a third term in office [John Wessels/AFP]
Guinea’s election — the first in a string across West Africa — followed a tense campaign marked by insults traded between President Alpha Condé and his leading rival. .

Some 5.4 million people were registered to vote, and initial results are expected to be announced in several days.

Ten other candidates besides Condé and Diallo were contesting the poll. A second round run-off vote is scheduled for November 24, if needed.

Polls closed at 6pm local time after a mostly calm day of voting, but there are already fears of post-election discord.

“Alpha Condé cannot abandon his desire to grant himself a presidency for life,” Diallo told reporters on Sunday, warning his rival not take power using “cunning and violence”.

Security Minister Albert Damantang Camara told AFP there had been “no major incidents” on Sunday, but that he was concerned about suggestions that Diallo would not accept the result.

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