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Vote Counting Underway in Guinea Presidential Election

Supporters of main opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo stand on a van at a campaign rally in Conakry, Oct. 14, 2020.

Vote counting is underway in Guinea to determine who will be the west African nation’s new president.

Sunday’s election, which pitted incumbent President Alpha Conde against opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, was the culmination of months of political unrest over a controversial new constitution that allowed Conde to bypass the two-term limit for the president’s post.

Conde became Guinea's first democratically elected president in 2010 after decades as an opposition activist. The new constitution prompted mass protests and harsh criticism by right groups about democracy backsliding in the country.

At least 50 people have been killed in the past year during mass protests of the new constitution.

On the eve of the elections, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement calling on “all national stakeholders to ensure that the polls are conducted in an inclusive and peaceful manner.”

Guterres urged all political leaders and their supporters to refrain from “acts of incitement, inflammatory language, ethnic profiling and violence” and also “to resolve any disputes that may arise through legal means.”

Conde faces 10 other contenders besides Diallo, a former prime minister who finished second to Conde in 2010 and 2015 elections.

Diallo, a former prime minister who finished second to Conde in 2010 and 2015 elections, has warned about voter fraud and has said he will challenge any irregularities.

The final results are not expected for several days.

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