Guinea's president votes in highly contested election
Oct 14, 2015 President Alpha Conde of Guniea recently joined other electorates at the polls as the country holds its second democratic elections since independence. President Conde, whose election in 2010 ended two years of brutal military rule, is widely tipped to win a second mandate.
Guineans voted peacefully, unlike the previous election that was characterized by violence linked to ethnic tensions.
While casting his vote, President Conde said:
“I came to perform my civic duty. I hope that things go well, because Guinea needs peace, Guinea needs unity,”
Conde’s campaign has been focused on infrastructural development and improved power supply in the country. However, opposition forces have sought to capitalize on his shortcomings such as the nearly two-year-old battle against the Ebola virus.
Opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, also voted in Conakry. Speaking to reporters afterwards, he said:
“The campaign has generally been peaceful. There haven’t been many violent incidents and I hope that there will be peace after the elections and that the population can show patriotism and maturity in order to avoid violence,”
In an attempt to defuse tensions between his supporters and those loyal to President Conde, Cellou Diallo, who had sought a postponement of the election, decided to participate.
Also speaking after the elections, former Prime Minister Sidya Toure said:
“People in Siguiri, amongst the Doumbouya families, have reported incidents of fraud. We have also heard that people living in remote areas have reported similar incidents. It’s become a vicious circle. And as I told you we have also heard reports from Conakry, and in 14 to 16 hours we will not be talking about the credibility of these elections, but rather the extent of fraudulent activity that took place,”
Captain Kante, a police officer in charge of polling station security said:
“They (police officers) have orders that they must follow. When a police officer is in charge of security at a polling station, he has to walk around and see what is happening. When we see a situation like the one we witnessed earlier, with people shouting, we cannot accept that. Because as soon as people try to disturb the process and start shouting, we have to remove them,”
According to the country’s electoral commission, the votes are currently being counted and a provisional outcome will be announced on October 15th or 16th.