President Conde seeks third term as Guinea goes to the polls

Almost 5.5 million registered to take part in the election expected to be a tight race between Conde and opposition leader Diallo.

Voters in Guinea are casting their ballot on Sunday to elect a president in a poll expected to be a tight race between the incumbent and a key opposition leader.

Almost 5.5 million registered voters can vote at roughly 15,000 polling stations. Results are expected within 24 hours after voting closes at 6pm local time (1800 GMT).

A candidate needs to secure more than 50 per cent of the vote to win.

Twelve candidates will be vying for the highest office, but only the incumbent, Alpha Conde, and Cellou Dalein Diallo, 68, the leader of main opposition party Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), are said to be in with a chance of victory.

Conde, 82, has already won against Diallo twice before, in 2010 and 2015, and political analysts predict he will win another five-year term.

Conde’s candidacy was confirmed after a referendum in March – a vote that raised concerns that Guinea will follow in the footsteps of other African nations whose rulers refuse to cede power.

Conde, who has been accused of human rights violations during his decade in power, is pledging to uplift poor communities through investments in mining and better housing if re-elected.

Diallo, meanwhile, promises to improve the nation’s infrastructure, with a focus on expanding the electric and water supply.

The run-up to the poll has been overshadowed by weeks of sometimes violent anti-government protests, largely led by a grouping of opposition parties, resulting in a heightened security presence across the West African nation.


Almost 5.5 million registered voters are able to cast their vote at roughly 15,000 polling stations [Papa Seck/EPA]

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