Guinean opposition candidate Selu Dalein Diallo said he won the first round of high-level presidential elections, prompting the country’s electoral body, which is yet to release results, to declare his acclamation as void.
Diallo appealed to his supporters who love peace and justice to remain vigilant and defend his democratic victory.
In front of the building in the capital, Conakry, followers cheered with joy and chanted Diallo’s name. Elsewhere in the city, security forces fired tear gas at a crowd that had gathered to support Diallo.
The opposition leader did not give any figures, but said the election was based on his party’s census, not an official count by the National Election Commission.
Then on Monday, Bakare Mansare, vice president of electoral commission, told AFP that Diallo’s alleged victory was premature and empty.
Mansare said it is not up to a candidate or person to announce the winner outside of the legal entities required to do it.
Diallo, 68, is the leading opposition candidate against Guinea’s 82-year-old president, Alpha Conde, who is seeking a third term following a constitutional amendment in March.
Diallo’s announcement marked the start of showdown with the government insisting that Sunday’s vote was fair and that the official electoral body must announce the results.
Election day was generally quiet, but there have been months of protests against Conde’s third term bid, to which security forces have responded harshly. Dozens of people have died in mass demonstrations against Conde’s re-election.
Opposition members are highly suspicious of the fairness of the polls and the independence of the electoral commission.
Signs of an upcoming electoral conflict surfaced on Sunday when Diallo told reporters Conde may be cheating his path to power. Guinea’s security minister dismissed the allegations and asked Diallo to keep himself in line.