CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Guinea's opposition candidates said Monday they will not recognize provisional results for the country's presidential election, citing fraud — a move criticized by the government.
"The Guinean opposition will not recognize the outcome of the poll. We call for outright cancellation of this election," main opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo said at a news conference alongside six other candidates who are running against President Alpha Conde.
Diallo said there were flagrant violations of the laws, ballot boxes were stuffed and voters intimidated.
In a further protest, the candidate who placed third in the first round of the 2010 election, Sidya Toure, said he was withdrawing himself from the electoral process for now, his Union of Republican Forces party spokesman said.
The government said such challenges by the opposition are systematic, adding that the independent electoral commission regulates the process and the vote was overseen by thousands of international observers.
"The aim of the opposition is clear: To discredit the election and obtain another time, that is unmerited, at the ballot box," it said.
The government said few of the opposition are concerned with the actual results. "Some want to save face, others are struggling to stay ahead in their party and finally there are those who wish to settle personal scores," it said.
The opposition last week called for the polls to be postponed, but the electoral commission said everything was in order.
Some polling stations remained open late, after voting materials arrived late or ran out. Others said voting ran smoothly.
Provisional results are expected from one to three days after the polls closed Sunday evening.
Many hope that political violence that killed at least three in the run-up to this election, and that marred the first democratic election in 2010, does not resurface.
President Conde is favored to win, but it is likely he will face a second round of voting against Diallo.