Guinea’s Condé faces longtime rival Diallo because the nation goes to the polls

Guineans voted for a president on Sunday, with 82-year-old incumbent Alpha Condé going through his longtime rival Cellou Dalein Diallo for the third time.

Protection within the West African state ended Friday at midnight, limiting a tense political marketing campaign marked by insults traded between President Alpha Condé and his main rival.

After many years as an opposition activist, Condé grew to become Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and gained re-election in 2015.

He pushed by means of a brand new structure in March, arguing that it will modernize the nation. However the motion additionally controversially allowed him to avoid a two-time restrict for presidents.

Rights teams have grow to be more and more vital of the president, accusing him of turning to authoritarianism.

Diallo, 68, now Guinea’s main opposition politician, was former prime minister underneath authoritarian chief Lansana Conté.

Occasional clashes between their supporters have erupted throughout Guinea in latest days, prompting additional violence on election day.

‘Retire with dignity’

Cupboard Fofana, a Guinean political scientist, carried out the election as a battle between Condé, who was selling his put up in workplace, and his opponent arguing for change after a decade of his rule.

“This election will play for Alpha Condé on (his potential) to advance his public coverage,” Fofana stated.

However Condé’s superior age will weigh on voters’ minds, based on Fofana.

Diallo raised the problem a number of occasions in the course of the marketing campaign and even referred to as on Condéto to “retire with dignity”.

Nevertheless, the sharply dressed president has brushed gibes and carried out a strong helicopter trip within the nation.

Condéspent spent many years as an opposition activist and was even sentenced to demise in absentia by a former autocrat earlier than lastly coming to energy in 2010.

He beat Diallo to the presidency on the time and pulled the feat out once more when he was re-elected in 2015.

Amongst different issues, Condé promised to extend the nation’s economic system by about 13 million folks and improve Guinea’s deplorable entry to electrical energy.

He has caught to the same manuscript throughout this yr’s marketing campaign and promised to make Guinea “Africa’s second (financial) energy after Nigeria”.

However Diallo – a self-described technocrat – has criticized Condé’s “catastrophic report” and took to pointing to his watch in the course of the marketing campaign, symbolizing that the octogenarian’s time has run out.

String of West African polls

Guineans interviewed by AFP expressed deep frustration over the state of the nation, no matter their political colours.

The previous French colony is wealthy in minerals resembling bauxite, iron and gold and has plentiful freshwater sources. Nevertheless, it stays one of many poorest international locations on the earth.

Guinea’s vote on Sunday is because of repercussions exterior its borders.

The vote is the primary in a collection of elections deliberate throughout West Africa, together with Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger.

A number of the main points in these elections bear a hanging reference to the political debate in Guinea.

In Côte d’Ivoire, for instance, present President Alassane Ouattara is working for a 3rd time period after revising the nation’s structure. The vote on 31 October can even happen in a really tense ambiance.

About 5.4 million registered voters in Guinea are as a result of forged their ballots on Sunday, and the primary outcomes are anticipated to be introduced a number of days later.

One other spherical is scheduled for November twenty fourth.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)