Elections are being held in Guinea today amidst tensions, as incumbent President Alpha Condé seeks a third term.
Condé first became President in 2010 and won a second term in 2015, amidst allegations from the opposition of electoral irregularities. A referendum on a new Constitution – which would allow Condé a third term – was held in March, and was approved by nearly 90% of voters. However, opposition parties had urged their supporters to boycott the vote.
A parliamentary vote had been held alongside the referendum, which saw Condé’s party, Rally of the Guinean People, win 79 of the 114 seats available. No other party won more than four seats.
Today’s election is between Condé and Cellou Dalein Diallo, an economist and former Guinean Prime Minister who had also previously run for President.
Amnesty International reports that dozens of people have been killed by Guinean security forces in the run-up to today’s poll. Guineans have been protesting against Condé’s attempt to run for a third term. There were also reports that an army base had been attacked by armed men on Friday, with the base’s commander reportedly killed.
The United Nations also warned that the election campaign was marred by appeals to ethnicity. Condé and his party draw support mainly from the Malinke people while Diallo and his Union of Democratic Forces for Guinea are mainly a Fulani party.
Guinea is one of the world’s leading sources for bauxite and iron ore. A change of president could impact on global supply.