The Guinea Supreme Court [GlobaLex backgrounder] on Tuesday announced the final election results in last month's presidential election, in which no candidate received enough votes to avoid a runoff. The ruling comes after allegations of fraud [BBC report] in the election, which has been described as Guinea's first free election since attaining independence in 1958. Chief Justice Mamadou Sima Sylla announced that out of the 24 candidates appearing on the ballot, former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo received nearly 44 percent of the vote, opposition leader Alpha Conde received 18 percent and Sidya Toure garnered 13 percent. With no candidates claiming a majority, a runoff will be held between Diallo and Conde. The runoff was initially scheduled for July 18 [Reuters report], but was postponed while the court considered 15 complaints of misconduct during the balloting. The votes have divided primarily along ethnic lines, with all candidates running on a similar platform of economic expansion and the rule of law. A date for the runoff has not yet been set, but according to the Constitution, the vote must be held at least 14 days after the court's ruling.
The election comes as the conclusion to 18 months of governance by a military junta, which took power in a 2008 coup. The coup followed the death of Lansana Conte [BBC profile], who had ruled the West African country since 1984. The election was postponed several times and was originally scheduled for December 2009 by the military government. In May, the International Criminal Court (ICC) sent a delegation from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) [official websites] to Guinea to further investigate the killing [JURIST report] of more than 150 pro-democracy protesters in Conakry [BBC backgrounder] in September 2009. The protesters had rallied against Guinean military leader Moussa Dadis Camara [BBC profile], who announced in October that he intended to push elections forward three months and stand for election, breaking a promise not to run made shortly after he took power. An assassination attempt on Camara two months later eventually drove him into exile.