five million voters called for the ballot box

Twelve candidates are in attendance, including outgoing President Alpha Condé seeking a contested third term and his main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo. The most important elements of this choice.

as reported from Conakry,Moctar Bah

The polls opened Sunday morning in Conakry, where our correspondent Carol Valade follows the progress of the vote, as in Kankan, the stronghold of Alpha Condé, where our special correspondent is Bineta Diagne, some polling stations opened on time, others a little late. They were to close tonight at 18 and we could feel a certain madness in this region of Upper Guinea, first in terms of the number of voters, she reports.

Although voting is taking place all over national territory, many Guineans in the diaspora will not be able to speak. They only vote in eleven embassies and consulates in Africa, according to a source from the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni). This will not be the case in Senegal or even in Angola, two countries where many Guinean nationals live.

Alternative or a third period for Alpha Condé?

The main effort in this election is the renewal of Alpha Condé for a third term or the change at the helm of the country. This fight, the head of state, which changed the constitution during a controversial referendum to be able to stand for re-election, hopes to win in the first round with a new “knockout”, which he had theorized. in 2015.

► Also read: President of Guinea: Alpha Condé, Portrait of a Political Beast

He will face eleven other candidates, including Cellou Dalein Diallo of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), his opponent for the third time fighting for this slogan: “It’s time”.

► Also read: President of Guinea: Cellou Dalein Diallo, a technocrat who entered politics

Then came, for the best known, Ousmane Kaba from PADES, Ousmane Doré, Kabélé Camara or even Abé Sylla and two women, Makalé Camara and Makalé Traoré. All ready to challenge the “professor” to the top office.

Distrust climate

If Ceni makes sure everything is ready for the vote, of the institution’s commissioners expressed doubts about the credibility of the process and a climate of mistrust prevails in the headquarters of political parties.

A few hours before the opening of the polling stations, the various camps accuse each other of maintaining the tension of intimidation against their respective delegates.

In the ranks of the UFDG, the main opposition party, they condemn “a one-sided organization” of the composition of the polling stations to deliver a single report to all the candidates. “Everything has been done to create disagreement,” sighed Secretary-General Aliou Condé.

However, on the side of the Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG), the ruling party, we are fairly calm about the conduct of the voting operations. It is at the time of counting and centralizing the results that the party’s spokesman, Domani Doré, fears tensions. “The opposition has already warned that it will proclaim its own results when only Ceni is entitled to it,” she said. “No one can stop citizens from communicating,” Aliou Condé replies.

These two main formations plan to deploy delegates to each of the prefecture’s 425 polling stations. Their officials promise to pay attention to the transparency of the vote, as stated in this report by our special correspondent. Charlotte idrac and Labé:

The judges will be attentive

In a statement released on Saturday, Amnesty International called on the authorities to “protect the safety of the entire population as the election campaign was marked by violence and human rights violations”.

A choice after months of competition

With our special correspondent in Kankan, Bineta Diagne

October 2019. Trade unionists, young people and politicians decide to unite around the National Front for Defense of the Constitution (FNDC). Their goal: to prevent the outgoing president, Alpha Condé, from amending the constitution to run for a third term.

FNDC manages to mobilize many citizens. But these gatherings ended in clashes with the police and arrests. FNDC then selects “dead city days”.

At the same time, the political dialogue is tense: Based on the recommendations of a report by the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF), the opposition questions the reliability of the case, which according to it includes anomalies. On March 22, the opposition called for a boycott of the referendum and legislative elections. Believing that the electoral process is not transparent, the international community does not send observers.

“Yes” in favor of a new constitution finally wins with 91% of the vote on the grounds of violence: there are officially about thirty death in Forest Guinea.

So at the end of August, a dramatic turnaround: after heated internal debates, opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo enters the presidential race. The UFDG leader wants to “fight at the polls for a third term for the outgoing president”. He breaks it with the FNDC’s strategy, whose demonstrations are now struggling to mobilize.

ECOWAS, which eventually supported the Electoral Commission in reviewing the case, believes it is now of “satisfactory quality”. Despite this, some members of the Ceni and opposition still doubt the reliability of the electoral process.