Guinean opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo says he has received the primary spherical of a high-stakes presidential election, prompting the nation’s election physique, which has but to publish outcomes, to name his self-declared victory “void”.
“Regardless of the intense anomalies that marred the sleek working of the … election and in view of the outcomes that got here out of the poll packing containers, I’m victorious on this election within the first spherical,” Diallo advised journalists and cheering supporters on Monday, a day after the vote was held.
“I invite all my fellow residents who love peace and justice to remain vigilant and dedicated to defend this democratic victory.”
Exterior the constructing within the capital, Conakry, supporters erupted in pleasure and chanted “Cellou, president”. Elsewhere within the metropolis, safety forces fired tear fuel canisters at crowds assembling in help of Diallo.
The opposition chief didn’t give any figures however mentioned the tally was primarily based on his celebration’s depend, not an official tally being carried out by the nationwide election fee.
Afterward Monday, Bakary Mansare, the vice chairman of the electoral authority, advised the AFP information company Diallo’s purported victory was “untimely” and “void”.
“It isn’t as much as a candidate or an individual to proclaim himself the winner exterior the our bodies outlined by the regulation,” he mentioned.
Diallo, 68, is the principle challenger to Guinea’s 82-year-old incumbent President Alpha Conde, who’s in search of a 3rd time period in workplace after a constitutional change in March.
Diallo’s announcement units the stage for a showdown with the federal government, which insists Sunday’s vote was honest and the official electoral authority should declare the outcomes.
Polling day was largely calm, however it adopted months of protests towards a 3rd time period for Conde which had been met with a harsh response by safety forces. Dozens of individuals had been killed in the course of the mass demonstrations towards Conde’s re-election bid.
Opposition members are deeply suspicious of the equity of the ballot, in addition to the independence of Guinea’s electoral authority.
Indicators of a looming electoral dispute began appearing on Sunday when Diallo advised reporters Conde might “cheat” his strategy to energy.
Guinea’s safety minister fired again that Diallo ought to “return to his senses”.
In a press release @Cellou_UFDG says he received Sunday’s presidential vote however the election fee has but to verify something. Appears Guinea heading once more in direction of a publish electoral disaster https://t.co/EsmJEB2wsu
— Nicolas Haque (@nicolashaque) October 19, 2020
‘Oil on the fireplace’
Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, a cadre in Diallo’s UFDG celebration, mentioned outcomes at particular person polling states had been public, enabling the celebration’s personal observers to conduct a depend.
“If we’re the winners, we are going to defend our victory,” he mentioned. “We received’t wait.”
Earlier on Monday, Guinea’s authorities mentioned in a press release the opposition “clearly meant to create chaos and to name into query the actual outcomes that may come out of the poll field”.
After a long time as an opposition activist, Conde turned Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and received once more in 2015, however rights teams now accuse him of veering in direction of authoritarianism.
Diallo was previously a chief minister beneath authoritarian chief Lansana Conte. He unsuccessfully challenged Conde in each 2010 and 2015, in elections his celebration activists are satisfied had been rigged.
Earlier than vote counting started on Sunday, Diallo’s activists mentioned their observers had been obstructed at polling stations and alleged ballot-box stuffing.
Prime Minister Kassory Fofana mentioned the opposition publishing outcomes forward of the official outcomes was tantamount to pouring “oil on the fireplace”.
He added these outcomes are anticipated inside every week.
There have been fears current tensions have taken on an ethnic dimension, with Conde accused of exploiting divisions in the course of the marketing campaign – a cost he denies. Guinea’s politics are primarily drawn alongside ethnic traces: The president’s base is generally from the ethnic Malinke neighborhood and Diallo’s from the Fulani individuals.
Earlier than the vote, the United Nations urged candidates to curb ethnically charged hate speech, warning the state of affairs is “extraordinarily harmful” and should result in violence.
Chatting with Al Jazeera from Conakry on Sunday, Patrice Vahard, spokesman for the Workplace of the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights, cited inclusiveness, hate speech and electoral violence as the principle issues within the lead-up to the vote
“The interval from the second the polling stations near the announcement of the ultimate outcome by the constitutional court docket goes to be extraordinarily important,” he warned.