Guinea ruling party wins most legislative seats

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iol pic afr  guinea vote- AFP Ballot boxes are stored at a centre before a vote count in Matoto in the Conakry region on September 30, 2013, two days after the first parliamentary elections in more than a decade.

Conakry, Guinea -

The president's ruling party won more seats than the opposition in Guinea's highly divisive legislative elections, election officials announced late on Friday nearly three weeks after the vote. The opposition immediately announced it would seek to overturn the results.

Disputes over Guinea's legislative elections already had led to deadly demonstrations even before voters headed to the polls on Sept. 28. Observers have feared a repeat of the 2010 presidential election, which laid bare ethnic tensions between the Peul and Malinke communities.

Bakary Fofana, president of the national election commission, announced provisional results late Friday on state and private radio, saying that the party in power had taken 53 of the 114 seats, while the leading opposition party had won 37 seats. The rest went to smaller opposition parties, he added.

Fode Oussou Fofana, an opposition spokesman, said his supporters would seek to have the results overturned.

“We will not recognise these provisional results,” said Fofana, of the Union for the Democratic Forces of Guinea party.

The vote was intended to complete Guinea's transition to democracy after decades of dictatorship and strongman rule. It had been delayed by nearly two years because of disputes over how it would be conducted.

Results had been expected within 72 hours of polling closing, but election officials later said that the 72-hour window would not start until they had received all results.

Both sides have accused the other of using the election results delay to tamper with the vote, and have vowed to bring the matter to court. The two political parties draw their support along ethnic lines, and both make up about 35 percent of the population.

Guinea's 2010 presidential election pitted Peul candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo against Malinke politician Alpha Conde, who ultimately won the presidency.

As word spread that Diallo had lost, his supporters began burning tires, throwing rocks at passing cars and setting fire to the homes of Malinke neighbours. Over the next three days, security forces systematically attacked Peul communities, spraying populated areas with bullets. - Sapa-AP

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