Politics of Guinea

Politics of Guinea takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Guinea is both head of state and head of government of Guinea. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly.

Political history

Conté era (1984–2008)

A military dictatorship, led by then-Lt. Col. Lansana Conté and styling itself the Military Committee of National Recovery (CMRN), took control of Guinea in April 1984, shortly after the death of independent Guinea's first president, Sékou Touré. With Conté as president, the CMRN set about dismantling Touré's oppressive regime, abolishing the authoritarian constitution, dissolving the sole political party and its mass youth and women's organizations, and announcing the establishment of the Second Republic. The new government released all political prisoners and committed itself to the protection of human rights. In order to reverse the steady economic decline under Touré's rule, the CMRN reorganized the judicial system, decentralized the administration, promoted private enterprise, and encouraged foreign investment.

In 1990, Guineans approved by referendum a new constitution that inaugurated the Third Republic, and established a Supreme Court. In 1991, the CMRN was replaced by a mixed military and civilian body, the Transitional Council for National Recovery (CTRN), with Conté as president and a mandate to manage a five-year transition to full civilian rule. The CTRN drafted laws to create republican institutions and to provide for independent political parties, national elections, and freedom of the press. Political party activity was legalized in 1992, when more than 40 political parties were officially recognized for the first time.

In December 1993, Conté was elected to a 5-year term as president in the country's first multi-party elections, which were marred by irregularities and lack of transparency on the part of the government. In 1995, Conté's ruling PUP party won 76 of 114 seats in elections for the National Assembly amid opposition claims of irregularities and government tampering. In 1996, President Conté reorganized the government, appointing Sidya Touré to the revived post of Prime Minister and charging him with special responsibility for leading the government's economic reform program. In the early hours of 23 December 2008, Aboubacar Somparé, the President of the National Assembly, announced on television that Conté had died at 6:45pm local time on 22 December "after a long illness", without specifying the cause of death.

According to Somparé, Conté "hid his physical suffering" for years "in order to give happiness to Guinea." Conté had left the country for medical treatment on numerous occasions in the years preceding his death, and speculation about his health had long been widespread. Contrary to his usual practice, Conté did not appear on television to mark Tabaski earlier in December 2008, and this sparked renewed speculation, as well as concern about the possibility of violence in the event of his death. At around the same time, a newspaper published a photograph suggesting that Conté was in poor physical condition and having difficulty standing up. The editor of that newspaper was arrested and the newspaper was required to print a photograph in which Conté looked healthy.

According to the constitution, the President of the National Assembly was to assume the Presidency of the Republic in the event of a vacancy, and a new presidential election was to be held within 60 days. Somparé requested that the President of the Supreme Court, Lamine Sidimé, declare a vacancy in the Presidency and apply the constitution. Prime Minister Souaré and Diarra Camara, the head of the army, stood alongside Somparé during his announcement. The government declared 40 days of national mourning and Camara called on soldiers to remain calm.

2008 coup and following

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who seized power in a military coup d'état on December 2008

Six hours after Somparé announced Conté's death, a statement was read on television announcing a military coup d'état. This statement, read by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara on behalf of a group called National Council for Democracy, said that "the government and the institutions of the Republic have been dissolved". The statement also announced the suspension of the constitution "as well as political and union activity". In its place, the military said it had established a consultative council composed of civilian and military leaders.[citation needed]

On 27 September 2009, the day before planned demonstrations in the capital city Conakry, the government declared demonstrations illegal. Thousands of protestors defied the ban, assembling in a soccer stadium. 157 were left dead after the level of violence used by security forces escalated. Captain Moussa (Dadis) Camara told Radio France International on 28 September the shootings by members of his presidential guard were beyond his control. "Those people who committed those atrocities were uncontrollable elements in the military," he said. "Even I, as head of state in this very tense situation, cannot claim to be able to control those elements in the military."

On 3 December 2009 Captain Moussa Dadis Camara suffered a head wound in an attempted assassination in Conakry led by his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Aboubacar Sidiki Diakité, who is known as Toumba. Captain Camara underwent surgery at a hospital in Morocco. Reports say Toumba's men opened fire on Captain Camara late Thursday at an army camp in the city of Conakry.

In a document released in 2010, an unknown source spoke with a U.S. diplomat and described the "ethnicization" of Guinea and the risk of conflict and violence like in Rwanda. He stated that Dadis Camara has recruited mercenaries from South Africa and Israel and assembled them, along with some of his own men, in Forecariah, in the ethnically Sussu region in the west of the country, while Dadis was from the Forest region to the east. His militia numbered 2,000-3,000 and was armed with weapons from Ukraine. The risk of conflict and destabilization threatened the entire region, he said.

After a meeting in Ouagadougou on 13 and 14 January, Camara, Konaté and Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, produced a formal statement of twelve principles promising a return of Guinea to civilian rule within six months. It was agreed that the military would not contest the forthcoming elections. On 21 January 2010 the military junta appointed Jean-Marie Doré as Prime Minister of a six-month transition government, leading up to elections.

2010 elections

Alpha Conde became the first freely elected president in the country's history in 2010

The presidential election was set to take place on 27 June and 18 July 2010, it was held as being the first free and fair election since independence in 1958.

The first round took place normally on 27 June 2010 with ex Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and his rival Alpha Condé emerging as the two runners-up for the second round. However, due to allegations of electoral fraud, the second round of the election was postponed until 19 September 2010. A delay until 10 October was announced by the electoral commission (CENI), subject to approval by Sékouba Konaté. Yet another delay until 24 October was announced in early October. Elections were finally held on 7 November. Voter turnout was high, and the elections went relatively smoothly.

16 November 2010, Alpha Condé, the leader of the opposition party Rally of the Guinean People (RGP), was officially declared the winner of a 7 November run-off in Guinea's presidential election. He had promised to reform the security sector and review mining contracts if elected.

2013 violence

In February 2013, the Guinean opposition party announced it would be stepping down from the electoral process due to a lack of transparency over the company used in registering voters. Calling on citizens to protest nationwide, the ensuing week saw multiple clashes between police and protesters, resulting in at least nine deaths, some of those due to live fire from security forces.

The protests were also a result of the previous months' political wrangling between Condé's administration and the opposition; minor protests were quelled on the street, and opposition supporters were arbitrarily arrested, prompting the resignation of two Guinean opposition ministers in September 2012. This month also saw the opposition parties announce their stepping down from the National Transitional Council, which is effectively an interim parliament, and that they would also boycott the national electoral commission. The president of the national electoral commission, Louceny Camara, also stepped down due to pressure from the opposition over his relationship with President Condé; Camara was rumoured to be his ally and a key figure in the president's rumoured attempts to pre-rig the legislative polls.

The week after the protest saw another minor clash between protesters and security forces after a march to mark the funerals of the deceased was dispersed by tear gas and gunfire.

On 7 March 2013, the government postponed the 12 May election date indefinitely until the political tension eased and preparations for free and fair elections could be established.

Despite the election postponement, President Condé ordered a crackdown on those responsible for the violence, and on 10 March, a Guinean court ordered opposition leaders to appear at a hearing scheduled for 14 March, in which they would be questioned for their role in organising the protests. Former Prime Minister Sidya Toure branded the summons as an "illegal procedure for what was an authorised march" and a "manipulation of justice for political ends".

2020 controversial elections

In October 2020, president Alpha Condé won presidential elections. Condé had been in power since 2010 and he won the third term. Opposition did not accept the results because of allegations of fraud. The president said a constitutional referendum in March 2020 allowed him to run despite a two-term limit. After the election there were violent protests across the country.

2021 coup

Following a military coup on 5 September 2021 the government was dissolved, borders closed, constitution suspended and President Condé was arrested. On 1 October 2021 Mamady Doumbouya was sworn in as Guinea's interim president after leading the coup.

Ethnic politics

President Alpha Condé derives support from Guinea's second-largest ethnic group, the Malinke. Guinea's opposition is backed by some of the Fula ethnic group (French: Peul; Fula: Fulɓe), who account for around 33.4 percent of the population.

Executive branch

The president of Guinea is normally elected by popular vote for a five-year term; candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president. The president governs Guinea, assisted by a Cabinet of 25 civilian ministers appointed by him. The government administers the country through eight regions, 33 prefectures, over 100 subprefectures, and many districts (known as communes in Conakry and other large cities and villages or "quartiers" in the interior). District-level leaders are elected; the president appoints officials to all other levels of the highly centralized administration.

Between the 2010 Presidential Elections and 2021 coup the head of state was Alpha Condé. Following the 2021 coup he was replaced by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya acting as Chairman of the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development, a transitional military junta.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly of Guinea, the country's legislative body, had not met for a long period of time since 2008 when it was dissolved after the military coup in December of that year. Elections have been postponed many times since 2007. In April 2012, President Condé postponed the elections indefinitely, citing the need to ensure that they were "transparent and democratic".

The legislative elections took place on 28 September 2013 and President Alpha Conde's party, the Rally of the Guinean People, won with 53 seats.

In February 2022, five months after the 2021 military coup, a National Transitional Council headed by former lawmaker Dansa Kurouma and consisting of 81 members was established as a transitional parliament.

Administrative divisions of Guinea

Guinea is divided into seven administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures. The national capital, Conakry, ranks as a special zone. The regions are Boké, Faranah, Kankan, Kindia, Labé, Mamou, Nzérékoré and Conakry.

Political parties and elections

Presidential elections

Alpha CondéRally of the Guinean People2,284,82757.84
Cellou Dalein DialloUnion of Democratic Forces of Guinea1,242,36231.45
Sidya TouréUnion of Republican Forces237,5496.01
Faya Lansana MillimounoLiberal Bloc54,7181.39
El Hadj Papa Koly KouroumaGenerations for Reconciliation, Union, and Prosperity51,7501.31
Lansana KouyatéNational Party for Hope and Development45,9621.16
Ghandi Faraguet TounkaraGuinean Union for Democracy and Development19,8400.50
Marie Madeilein DioubatéGuinea Ecologists Party13,2140.33
Valid votes3,950,22295.52
Invalid/blank votes185,0914.48
Total votes4,135,313100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,042,63468.44
Source: Constitutional Court

Parliamentary elections

The elections were boycotted by the main opposition parties. As a result, President Condé's party won a supermajority of seats.

Rally of the Guinean People–Rainbow1,591,65055.27422,417,83689.053779+26
Guinean Democratic Union151,5765.26456,0852.0704New
Guinean Popular Democratic Movement113,7023.95374,3432.7403New
New Democratic Forces76,6122.6624,7110.1713New
Union for Progress and Renewal76,5122.66214,5970.54021
Rally for the Integrated Development of Guinea76,4122.65223,9010.88021
Union of the Forces of Change76,2082.6522New
Democratic Alternation for Reform–Constructive Opposition Bloc76,1882.6522New
Guinea for Democracy and Balance76,0122.64231,6711.1702New
Guinean Party for Renaissance and Progress39,7061.38110
Afia Party39,1261.3611+1
Civic Generation39,1061.3611+1
Forces of Integrity for Development39,1061.3611New
Guinean Party for Progress and Development38,4301.3311+1
Rally for Renaissance and Development38,3101.33110,6080.3901New
Party for Peace and Development38,1761.3311New
Alliance for National Renewal37,9061.3211New
Union of Democratic Forces37,9001.32113,9230.5101+1
Movement of Patriots for Development29,9961.0411New
Alliance for National Renewal29,8001.0311New
New Generation for the Republic29,8001.03112,9170.48010
Guinea United for Development29,1401.01110
Rally for a Prosperous Guinea27,4000.9511+1
Democratic Party of Conservatives12,3240.43016,4410.6100New
Guinean Party of the Renaissance10,2040.3500New
Union for the Defence of Republican Interests7,5360.26024,0460.8900New
Guinean Rally for Unity and Development5,4940.19000
Rally for the Republic5,4220.1900New
Pan-African Party of Guinea2,5500.0900New
Party New Vision8,0380.3000
Alliance of Forces for Change4,6980.1700
Party of the National Defense for Development1,3330.0500
Valid votes2,879,94495.802,715,14891.48
Invalid/blank votes126,1114.20252,9398.52
Total votes3,006,055100.002,968,087100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,179,60058.045,179,60057.30
Source: CENI, CC

International organization participation

Guinea's membership in the African Union was suspended after the coup.

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-11-24 01:10 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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