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Guinea: Alpha Conde meets supporters ahead presidential

Guinean President Alpha Conde met with supporters in the country’s capital on Friday, during the last rally ahead of Sunday’s presidential election.

Conde, 82, is seeking a third term in office, insisting his attempt to prolong his rule does not make him a dictator, even as opposition protesters slam his candidacy as an illegal power grab.

Speaking to supporters in Conakry, Conde vowed to “focus on the social conditions of Guineans” if he were re-elected in the weekend’s poll.

The electoral campaign has already seen deadly protests and many fear an increase in violence after the results are announced.

More than 50 people have been killed in anti-Conde protests since October last year, Amnesty International said this month, urging the government to investigate.

Conde made history in 2010 when he became Guinea’s first democratically elected president since independence from France in 1958, raising hopes that the country could finally emerge from a long history of corrupt rule.

Sunday’s vote is also the third match-up between Conde and his long-time rival Cellou Dalein Diallo, whom he defeated in 2010 and 2015.

The president maintains his candidacy for a third term is legal because the constitutional changes were approved by voters in a referendum earlier this year.

Diallo, the opposition candidate, is urging the international community to monitor Sunday’s vote, accusing the government of rigging the electoral lists.

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