Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Presidential Election Extravaganza this October, Part 3: Guinea

All of the upcoming presidential elections in ECOWAS countries, from this year through 2020, are listed HERE. I just found a nice source of information on elections in Africa, with an interactive map, from the Africa Research Institute.

Three countries are having elections this coming October, in a veritable Presidential Election Extravaganza. In earlier posts I covered the upcoming elections in Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire. Today I'll briefly go over Guinea.

A little history:

Ahmed Sekou Toure was president of Guinea from independence in 1958 until his death in 1984. In 1960 he declared the Parti démocratique de Guinée (PDG) the sole legal party in the country. He was re-elected in single-party elections in 1961, 1968, 1974, and 1982.

Upon his death in 1984, Sekou Toure was succeeded by his prime minister, Louis Lansana Beavogui, who acted as interim President briefly until he was deposed in a military coup led by Lansana Conté and Diarra Traoré. Conté served as president from 1984 until he died in 2008. Running under his Unity and Progress Party (PUP), Conté won Guinea's first multiparty presidential elections in 1993, and again in 1998, and 2003. The 2003 election was boycotted by the main opposition candidates. Alpha Condé (RPG) (see below) placed 2nd in 1993 and 3rd in 1998.

Six hours after Conte's death was announced, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara launched a military coup. After becoming injured in an assassination attempt, Camara left the country and Vice President Sékouba Konaté became acting president for a year until the 2010 election.

In 2010, Alpha Condé of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party won the presidency. Despite their last names sounding so similar, Condé was in opposition to Conté for decades.

The present:

Condé is facing his first re-election this October. There were protests in May over the timing of elections. Community elections have not been held since 2005. In the lead up to the 2013 legislative elections (which had been delayed for 6 years), "dozens of people were killed and more than 400 injured as security forces and opposition protesters clashed repeatedly on the streets of Conakry. ... Things took another violent turn (in April) after Guinea’s independent electoral commission, CENI, announced that presidential elections would be held this year on 11 October, ahead of municipal elections scheduled for March 2016. ... The opposition has asked for the community elections ... to take place ahead of presidential elections."

Today, Reuters reports that "Guinea's political opposition said (today) it had reached a compromise with President Alpha Conde to name new mayors and redistribute local government posts as part of talks to pave the way for peaceful elections in October... The opposition has for months accused the government of breaching a deal to hold local polls before the presidential vote, a factor they say gives Conde an advantage since municipal authorities are packed with his supporters."

Who is this opposition, you ask? 

Guinea's main opposition leader is Cellou Dalein Diallo, candidate for the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) party and former prime minister (2004-2006, under Conté). Diallo came in second place in the 2010 presidential election, with 47% of the vote in the runoff. That election has been described as "controversial."

Another major opposition leader is Sidya Toure, candidate for Union of Republican Forces (UFR) as of Monday also a former prime minister (1996-1999, under Conté). Toure came in 3rd in the 2010 election, with 13% of the vote.

In May, Captain Camara, hiding out in Burkina Faso, also claimed he is running for president. We'll see how that works out for him.

No comments:

Post a Comment