One dead in Guinea clashes as opposition alleges vote fraud
One person died in opposition party clashes with security forces in Guinea during vote counting for local elections, police told AFP on Monday, as activists alleged fraud marred the vote.
Guinean opposition leaders have denounced the west African country's long-delayed local elections held on Sunday, saying vote rigging with proxy ballots happened in several polling stations.
A special riot squad was deployed on Monday, and clashed in the western city of Kindia with supporters of former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, who leads the Guinea Union of Democratic Forces.
Mamadou Alpha Barry, a police spokesman, said "one person who has yet to be identified was trampled to death during a stampede during a confrontation between the two sides."
Energy Minister Cheick Taliby Sylla and Transport minister Oye Guilavogui were in Kindia to support ruling Rally for the Guinean People (RPG) candidates, according to witnesses contacted by AFP.
The local elections are the first since the end of the era of military dictatorship and follow eight years of delays blamed on a lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis.
Some opposition politicians have accused local officials of waiting for periods of low turnout at polling stations to distribute proxy votes in favour of candidates of their choice.
Results are expected before Friday, electoral commission president Amadou Salif Kebe said Monday.
"There are no elections without disagreements, there are no elections without problems, but we have worked for months and months so that cases of error are minimised," Kebe said.
Political distrust is high in Guinea, where ethnic tensions often turn deadly around election time.
The last local election was held in 2005 under the decades-long rule of authoritarian leader General Lansane Conte, who died in 2008.
More than 5.9 million Guineans were registered to vote.