Guinea Inaugurates President After 1st Free Vote

Published December 21, 2010

CONAKRY, Guinea – The man considered Guinea's first democratically elected leader has been sworn into office.

Alpha Conde, a 72-year-old Sorbonne university professor who has spent most of his adult life in France, was inaugurated as president Tuesday. He promised to restore authority to Guinea following the tumultuous election.

Conde was declared the winner of last month's runoff vote, which was the West African nation's first democratic election though it was tainted by ethnic tensions.

The former French colony has known only autocratic rule since independence from France in 1958, and it weathered the especially brutal 11-month rule of a military regime starting in December 2008.

The coup leader was later wounded and left the country, and the No. 2 leader agreed to hand over power to civilians through elections.

Written by Associated Press

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