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Tue, 29 Jun 2010 12:48 - Updated Tue, 29 Jun 2010 12:47

Guinea vote went well despite hitches say observers

Conakry

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Conakry - Guinea's first free election since independence in 1958 experienced some technical problems but appeared to have gone off smoothly and won praise in nearby nations, where voters are also hungry for elections.

Traffic flowed again and shops reopened in the capital Conakry after a shutdown during the voting on Sunday, which saw Guineans flock to polling booths from before dawn to produce a turnout of 80 percent, according to a local observer network.

The 24 candidates and their supporters are waiting for preliminary results from the election commission, expected by Wednesday.

The contest has been closely watched in a region where a series of coups, and questionable or delayed elections, have retarded efforts to establish peace and democracy.

The United States on Sunday hailed the vote's conduct.

Guinea is the world's No.1 exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite, and international mining firms are keen to tap into its iron ore reserves. All candidates have vowed to review the mining sector, though few details have been given.