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

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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid