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Guinea's Conde Takes Victory Lap After Court Declares Him President

Judges in the West African nation of Guinea on Saturday upheld the election result that saw incumbent President Alpha Conde put in power for another term.

A Constitutional Court judge announced that Conde won 59.55 per cent in last month's election. His closest rival, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, had challenged the result and alleged that ballots had been tampered with. Diallo, 68, said Conde's win was unconstitutional. Diallo earned 33.48 per cent of the vote and maintains he is the true winner of last month's election. In a statement, he accused the judges of bowing to political influence. Nine presidential candidates joined Diallo in rejecting the election result, the statement said.

"Accepting this decision is tantamount to complicity in the murder of democracy and the rule of law in our country," said Diallo. "To accept this decision is to admit that power in our country is only obtained by cunning and force and not at the ballot box." Diallo invited his followers to "defend your votes by all legal means." Diallo released the statement after security forces prevented him from holding a press conference.

Abdoul Kabele Camara, one of the 12 candidates who ran in the presidential election, decried the constitutional court's ruling. The former minister of defence, who won less than 1 per cent, said the ruling undermined democracy.

Conde, 82, won a third term. In March he had called a referendum to amend the country's laws that limit a president's time in office to two terms.

Conde was first elected to office in 2010, and re-elected in 2015. Conde has been accused of human rights violations during his decade in power, with his third-term bid leading to fears that he might not intend to ever cede power.

Source: GNA

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