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Guinea vote: Who is Conde, the leader seeking a third term?

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Guinea’s 82-year-old incumbent leader Alpha Conde is running for a third term in Sunday’s tense presidential election.

His bid was made possible after he pushed through a new constitution in March, which he said was to modernise the country but it also allowed him to run for another term.

The move sparked protests and subsequent crackdowns, which killed dozens.

What de we know about Conde?

After decades as an opposition activist, Conde became Guinea’s first democratically-elected president in 2010.

He was reelected in 2015.

In both votes, he beat his main opposition rival Cellou Dalien Diallo, who he is facing again this year.

Conde has promised to boost the economy tackle corruption and increase Guinea’s electricity access. And make Guinea Africa’s second economic powerhouse after Nigeria.

Despite the promises, the mineral-rich country is one of the poorest in the world.

Conde calls for free election

As he cast his ballot on Sunday, Conde said he hoped the vote would be “free, democratic and transparent”.

“We are going to make sure that the polling stations are safe.

“Guinea cannot develop without peace, security and unity. So we call on all candidates to avoid any act of violence. If some want to cause unrest, national and international awareness will be duly raised,” he said.

What do Guineans say about him?

“In 10 years, Alpha Conde has done nothing,” said Aminata Barry, a 36-year-old opposition supporter, adding that he had made “only promises”.

But Conde retains a bedrock of supporters who hail his efforts at economic revival. He drew huge crowds on the campaign trail, where he dismissed his many critics.

“Despite his age, we want him for the future of our youth,” said lawyer Sekou Diakate, 47, who was among thousands attending a Conde rally Friday.