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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid