Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Lebanon: Syrian civil war spillover heightens tensions in Tripoli

Read more

ENCORE!

Art show: From Frank Gehry's glass sails to Paul McCarthy's sex toys

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US midterms: The battle for Colorado

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Dominique Strauss-Kahn reacts to suicide of his business partner

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The robot workforce is coming

Read more

WEB NEWS

Video highlights problem of street harassment in New York

Read more

DEBATE

The battle for Kobane: Peshmerga, FSA join fight against IS group

Read more

DEBATE

The battle for Kobane: Peshmerga, FSA join fight against IS group (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Thousands protest against president's plan to extend rule

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

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

2014-10-24 Spain

Why does Catalonia want to leave Spain?

On November 9, 2014, Catalans were due to vote in a referendum on independence. But the poll was cancelled by the Constitutional Court after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s...

Read more

2014-10-17 Uruguay

Uruguay: President Mujica’s social revolution

By legalising both gay marriage and abortion, and decriminalising cannabis, Uruguay has become a real-life social laboratory in Latin America over recent years. The architect of...

Read more

2014-10-10 Haiti

Haiti: Injustice in a time of Cholera

FRANCE 24 reports on the UN’s role in the worst cholera outbreak in modern times. We shine a light on the lack of compassion shown towards the victims of Haiti’s cholera epidemic...

Read more

2014-09-30 Syria

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

FRANCE 24 has obtained rare footage secretly shot by a female student in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the stronghold of the Islamic State group in Syria.

Read more

2014-09-26 Russia

Video: Crimea's 'Russification' in full swing

Changing nationalities isn’t always easy. Six months ago, in Crimea, people voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, in a referendum that Western powers deemed illegal. Now, the...

Read more