Guinea election goes to run-off as Diallo falls short

Former Guinean PM Cellou Dalein Diallo - 3 July 2010 Former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo is the frontrunner

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Guinea will hold a run-off in its presidential election later this month after the former prime minister, Cellou Dalein Diallo, fell short of a majority in the first round on 27 June.

The election commission said Mr Diallo took 39.72% of the vote, well ahead of the veteran opposition leader, Alpha Conde, who got 20.67%.

This is the first democratic election in the mineral-rich West African state since it gained independence from France in 1958.

It has been governed by a military junta for the past 18 months since the death of its longtime leader, Gen Lansana Conte, in 2008.

Court challenge

Alpha Conde's party has said it will challenge some poll results in the courts.

Candidates have until 8 July to contest the results in the Supreme Court, which must then make its ruling within three days.

In all, 24 candidates contested the first round of the elections. Voter turnout was 77%, said the election commission.

The second round is scheduled to take place on 18 July, but may be delayed until later in the month or early August for logistical reasons.

Mr Diallo served several terms as prime minister under Gen Conte, who came to power during a military coup in 1984.

Nine months ago, Mr Diallo was badly injured when the military opened fire on demonstrators opposed to the junta.

Guinea is the world's largest exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite. It also has important deposits of iron ore.

Despite its mineral wealth, the country is one of the poorest in West Africa.

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