Africa

Guinea's Alpha Conde confirmed presidential poll winner

Supporters of Alpha Conde celebrate in the capital Conakry. 3 Dec 2010
Image caption Supporters of Alpha Conde took to the streets of the capital Conakry after the court ruling

Guinea's Supreme Court has confirmed opposition leader Alpha Conde as the winner of last month's presidential run-off election.

The ruling comes after the court threw out complaints of fraud by Mr Conde's rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo.

The court said Mr Conde, leader of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), had won with 52.52% of the vote.

The elections aimed to mark the end of 52 years of authoritarian rule, but were marred by violence and delays.

The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in Conakry said both candidates had made impassioned appeals for calm following the declaration.

Guineans now hope there will be no violence, he adds.

Guinea has been under a state of emergency since mid-November, after violent clashes broke out when Mr Conde was declared to have won the run-off.

Former prime minister Mr Diallo, of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), won 44% in the first round in June.

He mounted a legal challenge after losing the second round, saying he believed there had been fraud in some electoral districts.

But the Supreme Court's president, Mamadou Sylla, rejected the allegations.

He said Mr Diallo's party had not submitted sufficient proof that his supporters were intimidated out of voting in the northern regions of Siguiri and Kouroussa.

He also rejected a similar complaint by the RPG alleging intimidation in the region of Labe, a stronghold of Mr Diallo.

"I declare Alpha Conde the new president of the Republic of Guinea," he said.

"The decision of the Supreme Court is not susceptible to change and irrevocable."

As the country awaited the ruling, Mr Conde said he would be the president of all Guineans if elected and pledged to work towards national reconciliation.

Mr Diallo urged his supporters to remain at home and said they should respect the verdict of the court.

The fact that the two men represent the two most populous ethnic groups in the country had marred the run-up to the poll.

Mr Diallo represents the Peul ethnic group - also known as the Fula - while Mr Conde is supported by the Malinkes.

During the election campaign clashes broke out between the two men's supporters, prompting a large-scale displacement of Peul from areas of Upper Guinea in the Malinke heartland.

Guineans are among the poorest people in West Africa, despite the fact that the former French colony is the world's leading exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite.

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