Conde sworn in as first freely elected Guinea president

Conde, 72-year-old veteran opposition leader, won 52.5 percent of a November vote yesterday against rival Cellou Dalein Diallo to become the first democratically elected president in the country since its independence from France in 1958.

At least 13 African heads of state attended the swearing-in ceremony at the People's Palace, headquarters of the National Assembly which was dissolved after a 2008 coup, including the leaders of South Africa, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Liberia and Mali.
Guinea's former interim leader Sekouba Konate, who took power following the coup, stepped down last week and urged the army to back Conde and remain apolitical.
Konate described the inauguration as "Guinea's act of rebirth" and called for "an end to impunity" in the country.

The November vote won widespread international praise despite post-election violence that left at least seven people dead and hundreds injured as security forces cracked down on protests.

Guinea, which remains desperately poor despite mineral riches which include massive bauxite reserves, had been in political crisis since the coup, which followed the death of longtime military ruler Lansana Conte.

Comments (+)