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Opposition Candidates Want Guinea Presidential Poll Annulled

FILE - People pass in front of an electoral campaign poster for incumbent President Alpha Conde in Conakry, Guinea, Sept. 10, 2015.

Opposition candidates are calling for Guinea's presidential election to be annulled, saying the vote Sunday was rigged to favor incumbent leader Alpha Conde.

The seven opposition candidates held a news conference Monday to denounce the poll as a "grand deception," according to Chris Stein, reporting for VOA from Conakry.

The candidates said they had recorded a number of irregularities during voting, including falsified results, ballot box stuffing, and intimidation and arrests by security forces.

Conde's main challenger, former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, said he and other candidates would not recognize the result.

No independent confirmation

There has been no independent confirmation of the accusations. A Western diplomat said Monday that there were "genuine logistical problems" across the country.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed what he called the "peaceful conduct" of the vote. In a statement Monday, he also encouraged all political leaders in Guinea to maintain the peaceful atmosphere and to "refrain from any statements that may lead to violence or unrest."

Conde was favored to win a second term in the election, but it's possible the results will be close enough to force a second round of voting.

Some polling stations did not have enough envelopes for the ballots or were issued lists of voters that were not in alphabetical order, the diplomat said, adding that it was too soon to say these amounted to the level of fraud alleged by the opposition.

The seven opposition candidates had also dismissed the election as fraudulent on Friday.

Preliminary results from the vote are expected later this week.

Conde was elected in November 2010 in the first fair and free democratic election in Guinea's 57-year history.