Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Photographer Clare Strand explores the causes and consequences of communication breakdown

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Fashion and ethics: Five years after Bangladesh factory collapse, what's changed?

Read more

FOCUS

Israel’s migrant crisis: Clear government signals, but unclear decisions

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Plastic waste: ‘We can only tackle the problem if we work together’

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Louis XIV's message for the British royal baby

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwean nurses call off strike and return to work

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron meets Trump: A state visit with discord on the horizon?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron hopes for breakthrough on trade tensions during US visit

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mahalia, Ariana Grande & Willie Nelson

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

2018-04-20 Africa

Africa’s donkeys slaughtered for Chinese ‘miracle elixir’

Every year, China slaughters millions of donkeys to make Ejiao, a traditional medicine hailed as a ‘miracle elixir’ which is used to treat various ailments. As China’s donkey...

Read more

2018-04-13 Americas

From Brazil to Canada: the new odyssey for African migrants

Canada has become the new El Dorado for many African migrants, who have seen Europe and the United States close their borders. But they face a dangerous journey across South and...

Read more

2018-04-06 Africa

Video: Mauritanian Sahara delights tourists again after years blighted by terror

After years blighted by terror attacks, tourists are beginning to return to Mauritania. Charter flights between Paris and the Mauritanian Sahara resumed in December 2017....

Read more

2018-03-30 Middle East

Video: Fighting for survival in war-torn Yemen

Since 2015, Yemen has been locked in a civil war in which Saudi Arabia – a supporter of Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi-- has led a Sunni coalition against Houthi...

Read more

2018-03-23 terrorism

Inside the Kurdish courts trying IS group militants

The long and gruesome war that the Kurds have waged against the Islamic State (IS) group has not only left thousands dead but also produced many prisoners. For the first time, a...

Read more