Guineans protest poll results

2010-07-05 20:04

Conakry - Thousands of supporters of Guinean former premier Sidya Toure rallied on Monday against alleged electoral fraud after their candidate placed third in a presidential poll last month.

A crowd of around 3 000 - dressed in red and largely composed of women - marched in front of the electoral commission and the supreme court chanting "Sidya was cheated" and "we want Sidya for the second round".

Police dispersed the demonstrators when they tried to enter the centre of the capital Conakry.

Toure missed out on a place in a run-off vote to be the west African country's first freely elected president, after garnering 15.60% of the June 27 first-round election, according to provisional results.

The run-off will be between another ex-prime minister, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who got 39.72% last month, and a veteran opponent of many Guinean regimes, Alpha Conde, who received 20.67%.

Over three million Guineans, 77% of registered voters, participated in the country's first democratic election since independence from France in 1958 in a bid to end half a century of civilian and military despotism.

Many of the initial 24 candidates have alleged irregularities in voting and they have eight days to contest the results, according to electoral commission rules.

The commission has itself admitted "many cases of fraud".

The date for the second round of voting, initially set for July 18, has not yet been confirmed.