A day after being declared Guinea’s president for a controversial third term by the constitutional court, incumbent Alpha Conde staged an hour-long walkabout in Conakry.
But the 82-year-old did so with bodyguards surrounding him after his main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo called for resistance “by all legal means”.
The scenes of jubilation during his hour walk in the capital are a far cry from the deadly clashes seen after he pushed through changes to the constitution that allowed him to run again.
With 59.5 percent of the votes cast, Conde’s support surpassed the absolute majority needed to win in the first round, judges found, throwing out challenges to the October 18 ballot from figures that include his main opponent.
Conde also pledged to take a look at outstanding issues between Guinea and France, the ex-colonial power, again without providing details.
After months of violent confrontation and a bitter campaign, he insisted the time had come to “reach out” to opponents and improve the daily lives of the country’s inhabitants.
Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world and has seen frequent bouts of political violence.
Its politics are mainly drawn along ethnic lines: the president’s base is among the ethnic Malinke community, while Diallo has strong backing among the Fulani people.