October 15, 2015 / 7:05 PM / 4 years ago

Guinea President Conde on track to win election in first round

Election officials examine votes at a results centralization center at Ratoma two days after a presidential election in Conakry, Guinea October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinean President Alpha Conde was on track to win another term in office in the first round of voting in the country’s presidential election, results from the National Electoral Commission showed on Thursday.

With around 80 percent of the vote counted after Sunday’s election in the West African country, Conde was set to win an absolute majority, and the results from regions yet to be declared would not be enough to allow his opponents to catch up.

Conde had won around 60 percent of the vote, his main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo took around 30 percent and another opposition candidate, Sidya Toure, had over 5 percent, the results showed.

To avoid a second round, a candidate must win more than 50 percent in the first round. The commission is set to announce results on Friday and they must be ratified by the constitutional court.

Conde took power in 2010, ending two years of military rule during which security forces massacred more than 150 people in the capital. The country, which is Africa’s biggest producer of bauxite, has had two longtime authoritarian rulers.

Diallo withdrew on Wednesday from the election, alleging fraud, and said he would not recognize its outcome. The decision is likely to reduce the legitimacy of the results, not least among his supporters.

Guinea has a history of political violence linked to ethnic tensions and several people have been killed in election-related clashes.

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch urged political parties to act with restraint to avoid more violence and said security forces should intervene to prevent trouble in a lawful and impartial manner.

Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Larry King and Hugh Lawson

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