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Guinea Says Conde Is Presidential Election Winner

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Guinea’s Supreme Court declared Alpha Conde the winner of last month’s presidential election, rafitying provisional results announced earlier by the country’s electoral commission.

Conde got 52 percent of ballots cast on Nov. 7, Court President Mamadou Sylla told reporters in the capital, Conakry, yesterday, confirming results given by the commission. The election represents the first democratic transfer of power since the country won independence from France in 1958.

Ethnic clashes flared across the West African country after Conde, who draws much of his support from the Malinke, the second-largest ethnic group, was declared the winner of the Nov. 7 runoff election. His rival, former Prime Minister Cello Dalein Diallo, has contested the results. Diallo was largely supported by the Peul, the country’s largest ethnic group.

“Our attachment to peace and an undivided Guinea condemns us to stay calm and to avoid any form of violence,” Diallo said in a statement today. He declined to congratulate Conde and said the vote was marred by irregularities.

The Peul represent 40 percent of the country’s 10.3 million people and the Malinke account for 30 percent, according to the CIA’s World Factbook.

Guinea 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. General Sekouba Konate became the leader of the junta in December 2009 after the 2008 coup leader, Moussa Dadis Camara, was shot in the head by an aide.

“The decisions of the Supreme Court are without appeal, that’s why I call on our supporters for peace and calm,” Fode Oussou Fofana, Diallo’s campaign manager, told reporters in Conakry today. “It is Guinea that has won.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ougna Camara in Conakry via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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