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World Guinea’s president claims he won reelection. Thousands of Guineans disagree.

11:45  30 october  2020
11:45  30 october  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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They spoke with representatives of Guinea ' s electoral commission and foreign diplomats and held a two-hour meeting with Diallo, at his Conakry home which police have blockaded for days. "We set out to bring a bit more trust between the parties, some peace, serenity, and above all stop the violence

Guinean President Alpha Conde led the vote count in half of the nation’ s 38 districts amid clashes between Diallo, a former prime minister, claimed on Oct. 19 that he ’d won the vote, based on his The Red Cross Society of Guinea on Thursday suspended relief operations in parts of the capital

Some Americans may be wringing their hands about the possibility President Trump might refuse to leave office if he loses the election. While that scenario would be unprecedented in the United States, Africa has some experience with presidents who refuse to cede power — like the current election standoff in Guinea.

a group of people walking down a dirt road: Police officers walk toward demonstrators during mass protests after preliminary results were released in Conakry, Guinea, on Oct. 23. (Photo by John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images) © John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images Police officers walk toward demonstrators during mass protests after preliminary results were released in Conakry, Guinea, on Oct. 23. (Photo by John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images)

Contested elections in Africa at times erupt into bloodshed. Presidents who reach their term limits step down only about half the time without trying to change the constitution — those who attempt to stay in power nearly always succeed, despite public outcry. Governments tend to respond to electoral protests with violent repression — as was the case in Burundi and Congo in recent years.

Condé largely re-elected president in Guinea, according to partial results

 Condé largely re-elected president in Guinea, according to partial results GUINEA-ELECTION: Condé largely re-elected president in Guinea, according to partial results © Reuters / TIKSA NEGERI CONDÉ WIDELY RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT IN GUINEA, ACCORDING TO PARTIAL RESULTS CONAKRY ( Reuters) - Guinean President Alpha Condé has been widely re-elected for a third term, official results from 37 of the country's 38 constituencies show Thursday evening, with the outgoing head of state obtaining almost twice as many votes as his opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo.

Final results from the first round of Guinea ’ s contested presidential election show that incumbent Alpha Conde was re -elected with 57.85% of votes, the Diallo has refused to recognise the results and has called for protests over the election , which he claims was marred by fraud and mismanagement.

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Over the past two weeks, at least several dozen Guineans have died in clashes between protesters and security forces, following President Alpha Condé’s Oct. 18 reelection. Condé claims a contentious referendum in March allowed him to run again, and circumvent a two-term limit.

Many in Guinea disagree. People flooded the streets last week and the opposition declared the results fraudulent after Guinea’s electoral commission announced that Condé had won 59 percent of the vote. An Internet blackout and eyewitness reports of government security forces attacking civilians suggest that Condé is willing to go to extreme lengths to remain in power. Here’s what you need to know.

Why some electoral protests succeed — and others fail

Guinea's Conde set for controversial third presidential term

  Guinea's Conde set for controversial third presidential term Guinea's Alpha Conde won the West African nation's highly contested presidential poll, the national electoral authority said Saturday, setting the stage for a controversial third term for the 82-year old. Announcing provisional results, the president of the electoral authority Kabinet Cisse said that Conde had won 59.49 percent of the votes in the October 18 election. His main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo -- at the forefront of months protests against a Conde third term --  won 33.5 percent of the vote.

Equatorial Guinea (Spanish: Guinea Ecuatorial; French: Guinée équatoriale; Portuguese: Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Spanish: República de Guinea Ecuatorial

E) winning the endorsement of the top leaders of their party. 22) Comparison between members of the House and Senate concerning the impact of incumbency on their reelection chances shows that one of the reasons that senators have a smaller advantage is because they.

It’s rare that African incumbents come up short in their efforts to bend democratic rules, and instead bend to popular resistance. The 2014 uprisings in Burkina Faso forced President Blaise Compaoré into exile in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire — where the current president is vying for a controversial third term on Saturday.

Why do some elections in Africa turn violent?

What makes electoral protests more likely to result in pro-democratic outcomes, like the exit of an autocrat, rather than entrenched dictatorship? Research by Dawn Brancati suggests democratic transitions are more likely to occur in the year following larger protests as opposed to smaller protests. Erica Chenoweth adds that protests engaging at least 3.5 percent of a country’s population have never failed to bring about meaningful change, including and especially nonviolent protests.

International pressure can make a difference

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Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang wants his government to move to the new He was the target of an attempted foreign-funded coup led by British former mercenary Simon Equatorial Guinea should be per capita, one of the wealthiest nations on earth thanks to its wealth of oil, gas and timber.

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Emily Beaulieu finds that electoral protests place greater pressure on incumbents to implement democratic reforms when those protests receive international attention, even if that attention falls short of outright support. What have outside observers said about Guinea’s election?

Tibor Nagy, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, tweeted on Oct. 23, “The U.S. condemns the violence in Guinea & calls on all parties to end it immediately.” Nagy’s tweet echoed statements from Amnesty International and the United Nations. He has also recently tweeted in support of other African protests, including the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria.

Tournons la Page (“Let’s Turn the Page”) is a Pan-African activist group dedicated to strengthening democracy. On Oct. 23, it issued a news release calling on Western powers to sanction the Guinean government, denounce post-election violence and protect civil society. And national organizations in other countries, like Y’en a Marre (“Fed Up”) in Senegal, which successfully thwarted a third-term reelection bid, are now extending solidarity to people in Guinea and elsewhere.

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Some African leaders, too, are encouraging their counterparts to respect democracy. President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, once a close friend of Condé, publicly admonished the Guinean president for defying term limits. When the two met at a summit in October, Condé refused to shake Isssoufou’s hand. Issoufou, on his part, has vowed not to contest his country’s December election, having served his maximum of two terms. If he upholds that promise, he will be only the second executive in Niger to peacefully transfer power to a successor.

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What happens now in Guinea?

Most of the protesters in Guinea seem to be backers of Condé’s opponent, Cellou Dalein Diallo. Diallo named himself the rightful winner of last week’s election, claiming to have won 53 percent of the vote, not the 33 percent reported by the national electoral commission. This statement contradicted monitors from the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who declared the election free and fair.

The turmoil in Guinea thus revolves around electoral transparency, and not just Condé’s third term. Tournons la Page dismissed the stamp of approval from election observers, tweeting, “The AU and ECOWAS said they are satisfied with the electoral process, while forgetting that an election is not defined solely by the calm that surrounds the actual voting. The representatives of these African bodies neglect weaknesses in voter registration, repression of the opposition and civil society, and defiance on the part of certain political and social actors toward the Independent Electoral Commission …”

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Condé and Diallo have a long rivalry, having faced each other in two prior elections. Diallo would be Guinea’s first president from the country’s largest ethnic group, the Peul. Condé’s support base is primarily Malinke and Soussou. Peuls have long suffered discrimination, and are now being targeted in the electoral violence. Up until now, Guinea has remarkably avoided the scale of civil war and ethnic strife that has in the past beleaguered its neighbors Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Mali.

Guinea has, however, teetered on the edge of significant conflict. In 2008, a junta seized power after the death of longtime dictator Lansana Conté. The next year, government troops massacred and raped citizens who were demanding an end to military rule. Condé, Guinea’s first democratically elected president, survived an assassination attempt in 2011.

What’s happening in Guinea is one example of the fury and uncertainty that can follow a disputed election, particularly if an incumbent refuses to step down when their time is up. With a fiercely contested election of their own next week, will Americans find themselves in uncharted territory? Elections in Africa offer a reminder that a smooth and democratic result is nothing to take for granted.

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Lisa Mueller is an assistant professor of political science at Macalester College and the author of Political Protest in Contemporary Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Guinea court declares Alpha Conde elected president .
Guinea's Constitutional Court on Saturday declared incumbent Alpha Conde had been reelected for a controversial third term as president at the age of 82, while security forces surrounded his main opponent's house following deadly clashes. With 59.5 percent of the votes cast, Conde's support was above the absolute majority needed to win in the first round, judges found, throwing out challenges to the October 18 ballot from figures including his main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo. © JOHN WESSELS The opposition says that 46 people have been killed in a "wave of terror" The official count from the Ceni national election commission gave Diallo 33.

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