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3rd Term Bid: Guinea’s 10 years under Alpha Conde

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Guineans return to the streets as anti-Conde protests resume
Guinea’s President Alpha Conde

Guinean President Alpha Conde is bidding for a third term in Sunday’s presidential election after nearly 10 years in power.

Here is a recap of the key dates of Conde’s presidency.

– 2010: Conde is elected –

In November 2010 Guinea votes in its first democratic election since independence in 1958 and after decades of authoritarian regimes.

Conde, a veteran opposition politician then aged 72, beats former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo with 52 percent.

He promises a “new era” and undertakes reforms to the army — which had been a destabilising force — and the under-exploited mining sector.

– 2011: Residence attacked –

In July 2011 Conde survives an attack on his home in Conakry. A member of the presidential guard is killed. Conde accuses Gambia and Senegal of complicity, which they deny.

In 2013 two military officers are given life sentences for attempted assassination.

– 2011-2013: Demonstrations –

In September 2011 clashes erupt when security forces try to enforce a ban on an opposition gathering. Between September and November more than 350 people go on trial for taking part in demonstrations.

In 2012, violent protests erupt over public services, corruption and security force brutality. The opposition demonstrates to demand long-delayed legislative elections.

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In 2013 protests degenerate into clashes with security forces and about 50 people are killed.

In September 2013 Guineans vote in the first parliamentary election in more than a decade, after a campaign plagued by unrest.

Conde’s Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) and its allies win.

– 2014: Ebola strikes –

In August 2014 Conde declares a health emergency over the deadly Ebola outbreak that emerged in December 2013.

Ebola spreads, mainly to Liberia and Sierra Leone, and kills 11,300 people, including 2,500 in Guinea.

– 2015: Conde re-elected –

In September 2015 Conde inaugurates the country’s biggest hydroelectric dam.

The following month he wins a second term with nearly 58 percent. Around a dozen people are killed in clashes in the runup to the poll and the opposition rejects the result.

– 2018: Tensions rise –

In February 2018 the ruling party wins the first local elections since 2005. The results are disputed by the opposition, sparking demonstrations.

In October 2018 Amnesty International says at least 18 people died in opposition demonstrations since the beginning of the year.

– 2019-2020: Third term opposition –

From October 2019 there are rolling demonstrations against suspicions that Conde is manoeuvring to seek a third term. Around 30 civilians and a gendarme are killed between October and February 2020.

In November Amnesty raises the alarm about human rights and denounces “massive” and “arbitrary” arrests.

In December Conde proposes a new constitution: while it stipulates a two-term limit, there are fears it could reset the term counter to zero. Conde does not say whether he plans to stand again.

Guineans vote in March to back the new constitution by more than 90 per cent in a referendum boycotted by the opposition.

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Voting day is marred by violence, with scores of polling stations ransacked. Authorities report 30 dead in the second city of Nzerekore.

Conde’s RPG wins legislative elections held at the same time.

The opposition rejects the result and the United States, European Union and former colonial power France cast doubt on the vote’s credibility.

In April, Amnesty accuses security forces of using live fire on protesters.

The government argues that the new constitution resets the presidential term counter to zero, but the opposition denounces a “constitutional coup”.

– 2020: Conde’s candidacy –

Protests, interrupted for three months by the coronavirus pandemic, resume in July, with clashes between demonstrators and police in Conakry.

On August 6, the RPG asks Conde to be its candidate and on September 2, ending months of ambiguity, he confirms he will stand.

The opposition vows new protests.

On September 9, a split emerges in anti-Conde ranks and Cellou Dalein Diallo, former premier and the main opposition leader, is sidelined for deciding to run in the election, rather than boycott it.

Sporadic clashes break out in late September between demonstrators and the police.

In October, Amnesty denounces the repression of demonstrations, which result in at least 50 deaths in one year. The opposition reported at least 90 deaths, a number the government says is exaggerated.

[AFP]

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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