News / Africa

Guinea Holds Long-delayed Legislative Vote

View of voter cards in Conakry on Sept. 26, 2013, on the last campaign day for Guinea's parliamentary elections.
View of voter cards in Conakry on Sept. 26, 2013, on the last campaign day for Guinea's parliamentary elections.
Anne Look
Guinea finally goes to the polls Saturday to vote in legislative elections after two years of delays and deadly protests. Tensions are high, but many hope the election will allow Guineans to put the past four and a half years of tumultuous transition behind them.

Voters will be casting ballots for 114 National Assembly representatives amid heightened distrust between the ruling party and the opposition, and concerns of instability.

The poll that elected President Alpha Conde in 2010 inflamed ethnic tensions and led to three days of deadly violence.  The poll that elected President Alpha Conde in 2010 inflamed ethnic tensions and led to three days of deadly violence.  There were clashes between supporters of opposing camps, and human rights groups say the mostly Peul opposition supporters were targeted by security forces.

These legislative polls were supposed to take place in June 2011 but have been pushed back repeatedly due to wrangling over the organization of the poll.

The most recent delay came just a week ago when the vote was pushed from September 24 to September 28 after international mediation.  The extra four days were to give the electoral commission time to correct what the opposition said were irregularities with the voter list and the placement of polling places following recent redistricting. 

The new parliament is supposed to be the finishing touch to what has been a rocky transition to democracy after the death of authoritarian president, Lansana Conte, in December 2008 and a subsequent military coup thrust the country into chaos.

Guineans say they hope the election will send a message of stability.

Street seller Lancinet Kaba says "these elections are going to give credibility to the government. The legislature is the counterweight to the executive.  Having a National Assembly will reassure donors and investors."

The opposition has accused and continues to accuse the electoral commission and the government of working to rig the elections in the ruling party's favor, something the government and the ruling party deny.

Many Guineans say they are just ready to move on.

Shop owner Amara Conde says "no election is perfect.  If you want to wait and correct everything, then this election will never happen.  We need to put the country first.  We have been waiting for this election for years."

The wrangling over the date and the organization of the poll has largely eclipsed campaign issues.  The vote's high stakes stem in part from the fact that many see this legislative vote as a warm-up match for the 2015 presidential race.

The ruling party has defended the the government's track record, including reforms and infrastructure investments.  The opposition has called on voters to "sanction" the government of President Conde which they say has not done enough to improve standards of living. 

President of the women of the opposition party UFR, Hadja Fatoumata Daffe, says "look at the conditions these women are living in.  It's terrible.  They promised us so much but look they are still here in the same conditions.  We need real change this time."

Despite tensions, campaigning was calm and election officials say preparations were done on time.

More than 5,000 national and international observers are on the ground in Guinea for the vote.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid