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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid