go to top
A billboard with the face of Guinea’s incumbent president, Alpha Conde, in Conakry, Guinea, Oct. 9, 2015 (AP Photo by Youssouf Bah).

Conde’s Re-Election in Guinea Doesn’t Cap Democratic Transition

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015

On Oct. 11, Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, comfortably won re-election in a poll nevertheless marred by deadly clashes between government and opposition supporters ahead of the vote. Official results, announced six days later, showed him taking nearly 58 percent of the vote, with overall turnout at around 66 percent. As in 2010, Conde faced off against Cellou Dalein Diallo, who was Guinea’s prime minister from 2004 to 2006, with another six candidates also participating. Conde’s first-round majority means there will be no second-round run-off ballot.

In a year featuring as many as a dozen important elections in Africa, Guinea belongs to an important subset of countries: those emerging from dictatorships. Its experience shows how rocky the road can be. Despite headlines hailing the “peaceful elections” in Guinea—although seven people died in clashes between supporters of Conde and Diallo on the eve of the vote—two concerns have hung over the process: accusations that Conde rigged the election, and fears about the 77-year-old president’s health. For countries earlier in their transition away from dictatorship, notably Burkina Faso, the example of Guinea highlights how elections are not, in and of themselves, signs that a crisis is over. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.