African News

Guinea: Conde quietly celebrates first round victory

By  | 19 October 2015 at 09:50 | 1275 views

Guinea’s president Alpha Conde (seen in this 2010 photo with his wife-photo credit-France 24) and his supporters have been quietly celebrating their historic first round knock out victory in the capital, Conakry and other parts of the country over the weekend.

The country’s elections commission says Conde had 58 percent of the votes cast in his favour with no need for a second round. This piece of news was no news for most Guineans and international observers present in the country for over a month before the elections. It was evident his party was more organized and more visible all over the country compared to his evidently cash-strapped opponents.

Conde had moreover mounted an impressive political campaign hitting all corners of the country including traditional strongholds of the main opposition leader Cellou Diallo, who, together with some opposition party leaders, says there was massive fraud including the closure of 400 polling stations during the elections, allegations which have yet to be proven. Cellou, apparently fearing scenes of violent confrontations, has at the same time appealed to his supporters to remain calm for now.

In addition, Diallo says he and his opposition colleagues will soon organize "peaceful" demonstrations across the country. The UN representative present in Conakry during the elections, former Ghanaian Foreign Minister Mohamed Ibn Chambas and the EU representative have however called for restraint by all parties concerned including the avoidance of inflammatory language and violence of any kind. The EU representative went further to say the elections themselves were valid although there were problems.

Thus the country remains quiet with no explosions of joy by the winners and no explosions of anger by the losers, like in the past.

Conde, a life-long political activist since his student days in France where he was at one time president of the association of African students, had contested and lost several elections during the reign of the country’s civilian and military dictators.

He finally won the 2010 elections largely organized by the international community after a period of serious instability in the country characterized by coups and massive human rights abuses.