Millions of Guinean voters went to the polls this weekend to choose their next president, with some voters waiting in the rain for hours to cast their ballots in old buses and petrol stops turned into polling stations.
The election is Guinea’s second-ever democratic election since gaining independence in 1958. Results are expected on Thursday (Oct. 15) but many expect a victory for incumbent president Alpha Conde in a second round of voting scheduled for later in the year. Conde has been credited with lessening the military’s influence over the former military dictatorship as well as increasing electricity.
Election violence in the past has analysts worried about stability once the vote is announced. Leading opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo has made an appeal for peace. “I call on citizens of all parties to accept differences of opinion and to respect the choice of each,” he said.
However, opposing political parties also threatened not to recognize the results if voting was not delayed to give time for more voters to receive registration cards. The Independent National Electoral Commission said on Saturday, the day before polls opened, that 7% of the voting population had not gotten their cards.
Security check points have been set up around the capital city of Conakry and soldiers are patrolling the streets. A dozen were killed last week as rival camps clashed over a court decision not to delay the vote, as requested by Diallo’s camp.
Here is how election day looked on Sunday (Oct. 11):
People wait for the opening of the polling office in the Hamdalaye neighborhood.
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