Guinea’s opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo has claimed victory in presidential elections, as thousands of his supporters took to the streets of the capital, Conakry.
The national election commission has not announced official results but crowds gathered outside Diallo’s party headquarters to celebrate after he declared himself the winner of Sunday’s ballot.
“Despite the serious anomalies that marred the smooth running of the … election and in view of the results that came out of the ballot boxes, I am victorious in this election in the first round,” Diallo told journalists and cheering supporters.
He did not give any figures to back up his claim but said it was based on information gathered by his party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea.
Security Minister Damantang Albert Camara accused the party of publishing false results, and warned that it risked triggering violence.
“This strategy of forced, premature and unjustified celebration was carefully planned well before the election,” Camara said in a statement. “There will never be any question of giving in to blackmail and violence.”
President Alpha Conde, who is seeking a controversial third term, condemned the declaration as “irresponsible and dangerous.”
Rights groups say at least 50 people having been killed over the past year during demonstrations against the constitutional change that allowed Conde to seek at least six more years in power.
There are fears that Diallo’s claim of victory could raise tensions and trigger violence in a country that saw hundreds die in the run-up to the election.