Alpha Condé: Guinea’s controversial president

Alpha Condé became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010.
Alpha Condé became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010. © Philippe Wojazer, AFP/ File picture

Alpha Condé's election as president of Guinea in 2010 was viewed as a fresh start for the country after decades of authoritarian rule and political turmoil. But Condé’s controversial methods to remain in power has earned him many enemies, who accuse the leader of drifting into authoritarianism himself.


Condé came to power in 2010 in the country’s first democratic elections since its independence from France in 1958. Many saw his presidency as a new beginning, but opponents soon started to accuse him of failing to improve the lives of Guineans, most of whom live in poverty despite the country’s vast mineral riches.

In 2011, he narrowly survived an assassination attempt when gunmen surrounded his home overnight and pounded his bedroom with rockets. Rocket-propelled grenades landed inside the compound and one of his bodyguards was killed.

In 2015, he was re-elected in a vote which opponents claimed was marred by fraud.

As the end of his second term drew to a close, Condé last year announced that Guinea’s constitutional two-term limit no longer applied and that he would seek a third term. He was ultimately re-elected, but the move sparked violent street demonstrations, with the opposition saying dozens were killed.

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