Guinean President Alpha Condé was elected for a second term on 11 October this year. While many feared that post-electoral violence would break out, the results were welcomed and the atmosphere in the country remains calm – at least for now.
Yet, the president faces some daunting tasks including building national cohesion, overcoming socio-economic challenges and fighting Ebola.
What can the citizens expect from Condé’s second term? Will the political violence subside and can the government satisfy citizens’ expectations?
This View on Africa was presented by David Zounmenou, a senior research fellow based in Pretoria. He explored some of the issues and challenges that await Condé during his second term.
- Guinea has a history of political violence. Since independence in 1958, Guinea’s quest for democracy has often been compromised by its leaders.
- October presidential elections took place in a volatile context. Like in 2010, citizens feared an outbreak of violence given the tensions between the two main political forces, Rally of the Guinean People (RPG-Arc-en-Ciel) of the incumbent Condé and the Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée (UFDG) led by Cellou Dalein Diallo.
- Condé faced seven other candidates in the elections. Some were his allies in 2010, which helped him secure the win against Diallo, in spite of his solid lead in the first round. This time around, Conde’s opponents were hoping to position themselves against him in a coalition in the event of a run-off.
- The provisional results released by Guinea’s Independent National Commission gave Condé an outright victory in the presidential elections with 57.85% of the vote. His main rival scored 37% while the remaining five each scored between 0 and 1%.
- Out of 22 electoral districts, Condé won in 16 districts, enough to claim national representation and a solid support base.
- There have been three recorded petitions, all calling for the annulment of the vote, but it is highly unlikely that the court will annul the elections.
- Conde’s victory could be explained by a number of factors including his credentials as a historical political opponent to Sekou Toure and Lansana Conte and his firm control of key institutions in the country.
What to watch
- Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in Africa in spite of its vast natural resources.
- Economic growth has stagnated. Projected to grow at 4,5% per annum, it stays at around 0,5% and is unlikely to improve in the next few years.
- Poverty remains endemic with close to 60% of citizens affected.
- Ebola presents a formidable challenge both for growth and stability.
- The main challenge for Guinea is to address the growing ethnic divisions, mainly between Malinké and Peul/Fulani, which are likely to become violent during the political debate.
- The upcoming legislative elections are as contentious as the presidential elections. Both the government and the opposition will want to gain control of the parliament. These elections could bring a resurgence of violence that has often characterised electoral processes in Guinea.
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Le président guinéen Alpha Condé a été élu pour un second mandat le 11 octobre dernier. Alors que l'on craignait une flambée de violences post-électorales, les résultats ont été acceptés et l'atmosphère dans le pays reste calme, au moins pour le moment.
Mais d'importants chantiers attendent le président : il faut restaurer la cohésion nationale, redresser la situation socio-économique et poursuivre la lutte contre Ebola.
Que peuvent attendre les citoyens de ce second mandat ? La violence politique subsistera-t-elle ? Le gouvernement peut-il répondre aux attentes de la population ?
Présentée par David Zounmenou, chercheur senior basé à Pretoria, la réunion de cette semaine portera sur les défis qui attendent le gouvernement Condé lors de ce second mandat.
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