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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid