Guinea's Supreme Court gave election authorities on Wednesday a further 48 hours to publish provisional results from Sunday's presidential election, citing logistical and other problems.
The delay came after European Union observers said they were broadly satisfied with the vote while the United States, a major financial backer of the elections, urged political parties not to overstate concerns about irregularities.
A smooth election is seen as vital to boosting investment in the world's top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite, unlocking aid to combat widespread poverty and easing the threat of ethnic confrontation that could destabilise a volatile region.
"The President of the Supreme Court ... taking into account logistical, material and security difficulties, gives the national electoral commission a prolongation of 48 hours to publish total provisional results," the court said in a statement.
Results had been due later on Wednesday but the move means the electoral commission now has until Friday to publish them.
If successful, the vote would be the first free poll since independence from France in 1958.
But some candidates and observers have complained of irregularities in an election aimed at passing rule back to civilians from the current junta, which seized power with the death of veteran ruler Lansana Conte in late 2008.
Guinea's National Council of Civil Society Organisations (CNOSC) said on Tuesday observers saw "attempts at fraud", citing an attempt at multiple voting in one polling booth and a bid by one party supporter to spread propaganda in another.
"We did not see any direct attempts at fraud," EU observation mission chief Alexander von Lambsdorff told reporters. "We are aware of the accusations, and we are investigating."
"Despite the logistical difficulties which marked election day, the (election commission) was able to conduct voting operations in generally satisfactory conditions," he said.
Guinea's election, which pitted 24 candidates against each other, has been hailed by diplomats and analysts for the speed with which it was organised and the calm atmosphere in which it was held after a turbulent year for Guinea.
It was held seven months after the then-junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara was wounded in a gun attack, allowing his deputy Sekouba Konate to assume control and guide Guinea to elections, with the assistance of foreign donors.
Most analysts expect the first round to be inconclusive, leaving two candidates to contest a run-off on July 18. Veteran opposition figure Alpha Conde, and former prime ministers Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure are seen as the front runners.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 30 Haziran 2010, 21:25