Oct. 15 (GIN) – The United Nations, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS and the European Union, among others, are adding their voices to a call by local citizens seeking the release of results from polls held more than two weeks ago.
According to early results from 37 of the country’s 38 electoral districts, President Alpha Condé’s ruling Rally of the People of Guinea party leads with 53 seats, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo’s Union of the Democratic Forces of Guinea has 38 seats and former Prime Minister Sidya Touré’s Union of Republican Forceds has nine.
In a statement on Sunday, unofficial observers called on the government to cooperate fully so that results could be counted from the Matoto district of the capital city, Conakry, one of the country’s biggest, which both sides claim to have won. They recommended that international observers monitor the process.
The delay has prompted a call by the opposition to annul the entire exercise, dampening hopes for an end to years of instability since a 2008 military coup that deterred investment in the world’s largest bauxite exporter.
Guineans cast their ballots on Sept. 28 in their first legislative election in more than a decade. Opposition parties said the polls were marred by a string of irregularities, including ballot stuffing, voter intimidation and minors casting ballots.
Tensions rose further when the Independent National Electoral Commission was slow to announce the results, a delay which Condé blamed on a manual tally and the “state of our roads.”
This week, some 30 young opposition supporters were detained for holding a protest without a permit against the alleged irregularities.
Alpha Barry, spokesman for a special elections-related security force, said the demonstrators gathered to denounce the disappearance of a ballot box in Conakry’s administrative district, where the office of the president is located.