Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc exposes extent of sexual harrassment

Read more

FOCUS

Turkey's brain drain: Talents turn their backs to limited freedom and declining economy

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Internet giants: Too big to be taxed?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU’s Karl-Heinz Lambertz: ‘Empowering regions and cities very important for Europe’s future’

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Client Liaison, Boyz II Men & Jessie Ware

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Iran deal decertified: Trump disavows nuclear agreement without walking away from it

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

British PM heads to Brussels amid Brexit standoff

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Why was Hollywood so quick to shun Harvey Weinstein and not others?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Squeal on your pig': French women share sexual assault experiences on Twitter

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2010-07-14

Guinea: the new dawn

After 52 years of dictatorship, voters in Guinea sincerely believe they have an opportunity to change their country through peaceful elections.

7 am, the sun rises over Conakry. Already queues have formed outside polling stations. Voters waiting in line, clutching their registration card, eager to cast their ballot in what could be the country’s first free and faire election since independence from France in 1958.

Guineans have been waiting for this moment for decades and at last, it seems within grasp. The election is taking place on schedule and the country’s strongman, General Sékouba Konaté, has promised to hand over power to whoever wins.

“We’re voting without any arguments, without fighting, without racism…I’m happy to see my people vote like this, without any problems!” says an old man minutes after casting his ballot. “In previous elections, my father would vote for the whole family, but this time around, I came out to vote for my candidate…no obligation, it’s a free election and it’s fair!” explains a young woman who has just voted for the first time.

24 candidates ran in the election and campaigned throughout the country. Many are hardly known, but there are several political heavyweights in Guinea such as Cellou Dalein Diallo, Sidya Touré or Lansana Kouyaté, all former Prime Ministers during Lansana Conté’s corrupt rule. Also in the running, Alpha Condé, who has opposed every regime since independence.

Over time, Guineans have become accustomed to a local specialty: massive voter fraud. Alpha Camara, for instance, remembers how it was done. He worked in polling stations during the last two presidential elections. Like many, he did what he was told and when the time came to count the results, he stuffed the ballot box: “We had to stuff the ballot box! Citizens had come out to vote, so when we saw there weren’t enough votes for the president, we would stuff the envelopes…” he explained to France 24.

This time however, the election is largely considered to have been free and fair. The second round will pit Cellou Dalein Diallo against Alpha Condé. Provided the country’s nascent democracy follows its course, one of them will soon be the next President of Guinea. The people’s choice. At last.
 

By Cyril VANIER , Alexandra RENARD

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-10-13 Europe

Video: Ghosts of 1917 revolution still haunt Russians

What remains of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia? FRANCE 24 brings you a special documentary on how Russians are living with this cumbersome legacy, as the Kremlin keeps a...

Read more

2017-10-06 Middle East

Video: After the war, life slowly returns to Mosul

FRANCE 24's reporters went back to Mosul, almost three months after Iraqi forces liberated the country’s second city from the grip of the Islamic State (IS) group. The scene of...

Read more

2017-09-29 Africa

Video: Beauty queens to the rescue in Sierra Leone

In January 2016, Sierra Leone, a small West African country torn apart by war and ranked among the poorest in the world, created a sensation at the Miss Universe event. For the...

Read more

2017-06-30 Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia: A long road to equality

In Saudi Arabia, women are considered second-class citizens. They cannot drive or travel without the authorisation of a male guardian: a brother, father, cousin or even a son....

Read more

2017-09-22 Middle East

The torment of Christians living in Syria’s Khabur valley

In the last few years, Syria’s Christians have been subjected to violent attacks and kidnappings by the Islamic State group. Churches have been burnt and entire villages in the...

Read more