Guinea High Court to Decide Tomorrow on Certifying Conde’s Win

Guinea’s Supreme Court will tomorrow announce verified results from last month’s disputed runoff presidential election, a court clerk said, as tension between supporters of the rival candidates remained high.

The court is scheduled to certify whether opposition leader Alpha Conde won the Nov. 7 vote, Andree Camara said in an interview today from Conakry, the capital. Conde garnered 52 percent of ballots, while his opponent, former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, got 48 percent, according to a preliminary tally announced last month. Diallo has contested the result.

At least seven people died and 220 were wounded when violence flared after the results were announced, according to Human Rights Watch, the New York-based advocacy group. A state of emergency was announced on Nov. 17 by the interim president, General Sekouba Konate, which is to remain in place until the court confirms the results.

“The political atmosphere is still charged,” Mohamed Jalloh, West Africa analyst for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said in an interview yesterday.

On Nov. 27, Konate fired General Abubakar Sidiki Camara, the army’s deputy chief of staff, Radio France International said on its website. No reason was given for the dismissal, the broadcaster reported.

The election is meant to be the first democratic transfer of power in Guinea, the world’s top bauxite exporter, since it gained independence from France in 1958. The country has faced political instability since a group of military officers took power in December 2008 following the death of former President Lansana Conte, who had ruled for 24 years. Konate became the leader of the junta in December 2009 after an aide shot the 2008 coup leader, Moussa Dadis Camara, in the head.

Guinea holds as much as half of the world’s reserves of bauxite, an ore used to make aluminum. It also has more than 4 billion metric tons of “high-grade” iron ore and “significant” deposits of diamonds and gold, according to the U.S. State Department.

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