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As Guinea counts March 22 ballots, govt puts official death toll at 6

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As vote counting continues after last Sunday’s heated vote, the Guinean government has given a death toll from the legislative and referendum vote which was marred in parts of the country by violent scenes between opposition elements and police.

The Minister of Security and Civil Protection, Albert Damantag Camara told the press on Monday that the official death toll was six. A figure that is four less than what opposition coalition FNDC published.

Sunday’s referendum had been postponed from March 1 due to criticism of some 2.5 million dubious names on the country’s electoral roll.

Some 7.7 million people were on the register, out of a total population about 13 million people. The government says it removed the suspicious names but the opposition said it still doubted the vote’s credibility.

The calm atmosphere at counting booths contrasts with the violence seen throughout the election day. If the “yes” vote wins, this could lead President Alpha Condé to run for an extended term.

Accompanied by other heads of security branches, the security minister said: “We want to be transparent about what we do,” continuing thus: “Yesterday there were elections which took place throughout the national territory.

“Unfortunately in some areas there has been violence that has resulted in the deaths. And on the human toll … as far as the security department is concerned, there will never be any question of obscuring reality … “

“At the close of the press release yesterday at 6 p.m. which was broadcast at 7 p.m., we recorded at our hospitals legally authorized to receive victims, four victims and a fifth victim was confirmed by the police. Also in Nzérékoré there was a victim. This is the figure that is recorded in our hospitals,” Minister Damantag Camara said.

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