|Candidate||% of the vote|
|Cellou Dalein Diallo||47,48%|
Alpha Condé has been declared the winner of the November 7th runoff election contested between himself and rival Cellou Dalein Diallo. Both candidates were neck and neck throughout the counting phase, with Condé eventually securing the victory with 52,5% of the vote. The runoff, however, was not free of controversy, as Diallo pulled out of the vote counting process citing evidence of fraud and demanded that votes from a number of Condé’s strongholds be annulled. The Electoral Commission subsequently rejected Diallo’s claim and said that appeals can be made to the Supreme Court.
International election observers have called the election free and fair with no evidence of foul play. However Human Rights Watch has expressed concern over the detention of 125 nationals accused of disturbing the peace.
Fears of Violence
Despite a relatively calm first-round election, claims of fraud and leadership battles over the Election Commission, provided for a tense number of weeks preceding the runoff election. Amid fears of violence breaking out, given the close nature of the contest and Guinea’s recent political instability, both Condé and Diallo called for calm after the announcement of the results. However, this was not enough to stop sporadic outbreaks of violence where security forces clashed with Diallo supporters in the capital Conakry.
Violent flare-ups are particularly concerning in a country that is known for its military coups and heavy-handed responses from security forces on civil unrest. Further, election related violence could have a destabilising effect on the region that is in a fragile state with a shaky rule of law. The most recent violence has lead to Diallo accusing the security forces of “savage brutality” against his supporters after protests turned violent leading to gunfire resulting in one death and 20 people injured.
The most worrying factor concerning the violence in Guinea is that it is taking on an ethnic complexion. Diallo is ethnic Peuhl, while Condè is Malinke – the country’s two biggest ethnic groups. Since the results were announced there have been ethnic clashes between the two ethnic groups in and around Conakry. Further, there have been reports that the ethnic violence has spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone.
State of Emergency
The increase in violence, following the announcement of the results led the Guinean government to declare a state of emergency pending the ratification of the results. The declaration imposes curfews on the Guinean population and gives the security forces greater powers of arrest in order to curb the growing unrest and maintain law and order.
A number of international actors, including the US and the United Nations, have called on the Guinea population to accept the election result for the sake of peace and stability in the conflict-ridden country. Condè presidency faces major challenges with the most immediate being that of reconciliation and nation building. Unity is of vital importance between the contending candidates, their respective parties and their ethnic groups if there is to be any hope of effective credible governance.
Poverty reduction is also of vital concern with a majority of Guineans living below the so-called breadline. Service delivery is therefore also a key issue that will define the incoming presidency
VOANews. Rights group demands fair trials for Guinea’s post-election. (November 29, 2010)
IOL. Alpha Conde wins Guinea election. (November 16, 2010)
CNN. Guinea in state of emergency as clashes kill nine. (November 17, 2010)
USAfrica. Guinea declares state of emergency as death toll rises. (November 18, 2010)
Polity. Guinea closes border ahead of vote ruling. (November 27, 2010).