News / Africa

Violence Precedes Guinea's Presidential Elections

A member of Guinea's military casts a ballot during Guinea's first round of presidential elections
A member of Guinea's military casts a ballot during Guinea's first round of presidential elections

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +
Mariama Diallo

The head of Guinea's electoral commission died on Tuesday in Paris, days ahead of the country's second round of presidential elections. He had been sentenced in absentia to one year in prison after being accused of falsifying election results in June's first round. In the meantime, ahead of the elections, clashes broke out between supporters of rival candidates, leaving one person dead and 50 more injured. Campaigning has been suspended but so far the September 19 date for voting still holds.

Tensions are rising in the West African country of Guinea as the second round of presidential elections are approaching. Recent clashes between rival supporters killed one person and injured 50 others. Alexander Lambsdorff is Chief of the European Union's Mission to Guinea.

"In my opinion it's not correct to have inflammatory speeches that use community aspects to inflame the situation," said Lambsdorff.

In the election, Cellou Dalein Diallo, frontrunner, will face off against Alpha Conde.  In the first round, Diallo took 44 percent of the vote.  Conde was second with 18 percent.

If the election takes place on September 19, it will be the first multi-party presidential vote since the country won independence from France in 1958.

Although passions are running high, coffee vendor Abdoulaye Daffe offers these words of advice.

"We are all parents, we should know how to protect our future," said Daffe.  "If you are for someone, you support them as you like but without provoking the others."

Office worker Amara Soumah says the responsibility lies with every Guinean.

"It's up to us.  There won't be any violence if we don't want violence. And I think we should avoid this violence at all cost," said Soumah.  

In a recent interview, Assistant Secretary of State William Fitzgerald urged calm.  

"If there's violence, that is just the wrong signal that Guinea wants to send to the international community," said Fitzgerald.  "Now is the time for these two candidates, and we don't care who wins, to put their best platform forward and convince the Guinean people to let these elections take place."

Before campaigning was suspended, Conde and Diallo were making promises.

ALPHA CONDE: "This government will apply the good governance principles and put an end to corruption and more importantly put an end to the mafia gangrenous system infecting our country."

CELLOU DALLEIN DIALLO: "We will carry out financial and technical audits of mining deals to make sure Guinea was not taken advantage of. If Guinea was, we will, of course, review and fix the deal in the frame of calm negotiations with our partners."

In a recent visit to Washington, Guinea's Foreign Minister Bakary Fofana said his country faces challenges, but foremost is allowing democratization to take place.

"I think one of the biggest challenges is going to be for us to respect the outcome of the second round," noted Fofana.  "The other big challenge for the next government is how to exploit Guinea's natural resources in order to make the country a growing point that will benefit not only its citizens but also the whole region."

Although election observers say that June's first round of voting was generally free and fair, nearly all of the candidates complained of irregularities. The independent electoral commission has been working to make sure that doesn't happen again.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid