Guinea’s President Alpha Conde called for calm on Wednesday as opposition protests over initial results from Sunday’s election, which showed him leading the field, turned deadly.

At least six people were killed, including two police officers, and many injured when supporters of Conde’s main rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, set alight piles of old furniture and burned tires in some opposition neighbourhoods of the capital Conakry, Security Minister Damantang Albert Camara said.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, Opposition leader and Presidential candidate

There were also clashes in opposition strongholds outside the capital, he said. Two people died in Kissidougou, a city in the southeast of Guinea, about 700 kilometers from Conakry.

“I reiterate my appeal to all to calm and serenity pending the outcome of the electoral process underway in our country,” Conde said in a statement. “If victory is mine, I remain open to dialogue and available to work with all Guineans.”

At least 13 people are reported to have been killed in violence since the election, in which Diallo, 68, has claimed victory based on his campaign’s tallies.

On Tuesday, the electoral commission reported that Conde won three districts in Conakry, scoring over 50 percent of the vote in two of the districts, and won Boffa district north of the capital with over 56 percent of the vote, helping to give him an overall lead nationwide.

Kabinet Cissé, head of the electoral commission, said more preliminary results from the vote would be announced in the days ahead.

Ethnic tensions, term limit controversy

Guinea Conakry’s Incumbent President, Alpha Conde

Conde was the first democratically elected president, but his push for a third term has sparked repeated protests over the past year, resulting in dozens of deaths. Conde, 82, said a constitutional referendum in March reset his two-term limit; his opponents say he is breaking the law by holding on to power.

Sources: CBC News


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