Guinea. Almost all politics during the year revolved
around the question of whether the parliamentary elections
would be eliminated. According to the constitution, it would
have been held as early as 2011. Tensions between President
Alpha Condé's government and the opposition continued to be
strong. There was considerable disagreement over whether a
South African company, Waymark, would be allowed to retain
the mandate to revise voting lengths, and whether Guinean
residents living abroad would be allowed to vote. On the
part of the opposition there was a deep suspicion that the
government side would try to impose a rolling victory
through cheating. According to
Countryaah, there was still a great deal of bitterness
over Cellou Dalein Diallo's meager loss in the second round
of the 2010 presidential election, given the suspicions of
irregularities that existed then. At the beginning of the
year, the Election Commission announced elections for May
12, but without consulting the opposition.
Opposition parties, including Dalein Diallo's UFDG (Union
of Guinea's Democratic Forces) and Sidya Tourés UFR
(Republican Forces Union), decided in late February that
they would boycott the election. Their supporters gathered
on the streets of the capital Conakry to demand free
elections, several of the demonstrations led to clashes
between activists and police. This was followed by new
violence between people from the Fulani and Malinke groups,
of which the former strongly supports the opposition and the
latter government. At least six people were killed and
The unrest was described in many media as a conflict
between different ethnic groups, but several observers
pointed out that the situation was more complicated than
that and that, for example, it is still common for Guineans
to marry across national borders. Dissatisfaction with deep
poverty and growing social gaps fueled the violence.
Despite talks between the government and the opposition,
new unrest broke out in April and May, with new deaths as a
result. From March to the end of May, at least fifty people
were killed. The president moved the election to June 30,
but neither did it then. On July 3, however, the government
and the opposition agreed on a new election day, September
24. The government had then agreed that even Guineans living
outside the country would be allowed to vote.
In mid-July, southern Guinea was shaken by new ethnic
riots, which claimed hundreds of lives.
Even the weeks before the election were worrying. But the
election was held, albeit four days later than planned.
1,700 candidates competed for the 114 seats in the National
Assembly. Election day was calm and turnout was relatively
high, 64% according to official figures. Opposition parties
claimed that cheating was taking place and had some support
from international observers.
The election results were delayed, but when it came,
Condés RPG (Guinean People's Party) had 53 seats, while
Dalein Diallo's UFDG won 37 seats and Tourés UFR 10 seats.
The other mandates went to twelve smaller parties, seven of
whom were said to have close ties to the government.
The opposition appealed to the Supreme Court in October
to have the election annulled. However, the court went on
the government's line and approved the election results in
mid-November, which led to new protests.