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Guinea’s President Alpha Conde won a comfortable majority victory in a vote marred by protests over the legality of his third-term bid.
Conde will rule the world’s biggest bauxite exporter for another six years, after defeating former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo with 59% of the vote, Kabinet Cisse, the head of the electoral commission, said in a speech from Conakry on Saturday. Diallo got 33%. Voter turnout was 78%, Cisse said.
Conde, who’s beaten Diallo twice before, is consolidating his grip on the West African nation after a referendum in March paved the way for him to run again even though the Guinean constitution restricts the presidency to two terms. At least 15 people died in demonstrations that erupted as the electoral commission released tallies from the Oct. 18 vote showed Conde was leading.
His re-election spells stability for Russian and Chinese companies that have invested heavily to extract the country’s abundant iron-ore and bauxite reserves.
The Russian aluminum producer United Co. Rusal operates three subsidiaries in the West Africa nation. Simandou, the world’s largest undeveloped iron-ore deposit was at the center of a decade-long dispute until Societe Miniere de Boke, a joint venture between the government and China’s Winning Shipping, won a tender to develop the site. Rio Tinto Plc and Aluminium Corp of China own the other half of the deposit.
“Confirmation of Conde’s re-election will provide peace of mind from an investment perspective, even if allegations of electoral fraud and violence perpetrated by security forces will seriously worry investors,” Eric Humphery-Smith, Africa Analyst at global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, said in an emailed comment. It provides “the green light Simandou partners need to move full steam ahead,” he said.
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