September 3, 2010 / 4:17 PM / 8 years ago

Guinea rivals promise to respect final poll result

OUAGADOUGOU, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The two rivals in Guinea’s Sept. 19 presidential run-off agreed in writing on Friday to respect the final result of the landmark election intended to bring civilian rule to West African state.

The first round in June went off peacefully but failed to produce an outright winner and provoked accusations of fraud and other irregularities, raising fears of unrest in the world’s top bauxite exporter after the decisive second round.

Former premier Cellou Dalein Diallo and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde signed an accord in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou promising that any challenge to the preliminary results would be made through the standard legal channels.

“I will without fail urge my supporters and fellow party workers to maintain discipline in accordance with both the spirit and the letter of this protocol,” Diallo said at the signing event, overseen by Burkinabe President and regional mediator Blaise Compaore.

Conde, the underdog who took 18.25 percent of the first-round vote against Diallo’s 43.69 percent, called on the national election commission to publish electoral lists immediately to ensure full transparency.

Guinea has had nothing but strongarm rulers since independence from France in 1958 and has been plagued by coups and instability. It shares some ethnic groups with neighbouring countries, meaning that any unrest could cross borders.

Aside from its bauxite reserves, it is attracting increasing investment from multinationals keen to exploit iron ore finds. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; writing by Mark John; editing by David Stamp)

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