Panafrican News Agency

Guinean gov't blasts opposition candidate Diallo, his activists for 'premature' celebration of his 'victory'

Conakry, Guinea (PANA) - The Guinean government on Monday expressed "surprise and indignation" after scenes of jubilation on Sunday by young supporters of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) in some districts in the northern suburbs of the capital, Conakry.

The jubilation was in areas considered as strongholds of Mamadou Cellou Dalien Diallo, the main challenger of incumbent president Alpha Condé in Sunday's presidential election.

Young people came out in large numbers on Sunday evening to celebrate the "victory" of their leader, a few moments after polling closed and at the time when the result sheets of the vote were sent to the centralization commissions.

Several witnesses contacted by PANA said that dozens of young people, many of them minors who did not vote, erected barricades to celebrate the "victory" of their candidate who had just faced, for the third time since 2010, President Condé, the candidate of the ruling Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG, Rainbow).

"This strategy of forced, premature and unjustified celebration was meticulously planned well before the election by Mr. Cellou Dalein Diallo. He has indeed increased statements announcing his victory, going so far as to argue that it was impossible for him to lose the election. He said if that happned, he would not admit defeat and would also refuse to call for appeasement," the government said in a statement signed by the Minister of Security and Civil Protection, Albert Damanta Camara.

The government said Mr. Diallo's "victory" statements included  audio messages in which President Condé was said to have indicated, even before the start of the counting of votes, that he acknowledged his defeat and congratulated the UFDG candidate.

The government said that on Sunday evening, the official communication service of the UFDG was busy broadcasting "false results and posting false result sheets" making it appear that Mr. Diallo had a clear lead.

The government condemns "these illegal practices, facilitated by the complicity of certain national and foreign media", which violate the charter of political parties, the injunctions of international partners, the directives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the government's warning.

"These are clearly intended to create chaos and to call into question the real results that will come out of the ballot boxes. This cannot and will not be accepted," the government said.

The government gave the assurance that it will not be distracted by this diversion and reassures all actors in the electoral process that it will continue, through its relevant services, to assume the tasks incumbent upon it, including securing the vote and its results.

Some 5.4 million people voted to decide between 12 candidates, including two women, all former ministers under the late president Lansana Conté. The winner of the first round should get more than 50% of the votes or there will be a second round on 24 November.

The government, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, as well as several diplomatic representations had warned against these practices and the risks of tension and violence they could cause. -0- PANA AC/JSG/BBA/MA 19Oct2020