Voting light in Guinea elections

Dec. 21, 2003 at 7:32 PM

CONAKRY, Guinea, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Voters in the west African nation of Guinea stayed away from the polls in droves Sunday leaving incumbent President Lansana Conte expected to win handily.

Former Prime Minister Sidya Toure told Voice of America the turnout was extremely low. Toure and other opposition leaders urged voters to boycott the election amid accusations Conte was planning to rig the results.

The only other presidential candidate was Mamadou Bhoye Barry, who the opposition claimed was on Conte's payroll and only running to give the vote an air of authenticity, VOA said.

Conte took control of Guinea in a military coup in 1984. He legitimized his rule by winning an election under a new constitution in 1993 but the opposition claims that election as well as Conte's re-election in 1998 were fixed.

Conte changed the Constitution again two years ago, allowing him to seek a third term as president.

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