Alpha Conde

Who is Alpha Conde, Guinea’s Overturned President?

Col Mamady Doumbouya is seen as the new man in charge of Guinea after he led a unit of elite soldiers to seize power on Sunday from Alpha Conde who was had spent almost a year on his third team as the Guinea’s president.

According to them, the accuse code for rampant corruption, disregard for human rights and economic mismanagement for the years he has been in power.

41-year-old former French legionary said the army had little choice because of the rampant corruption, disregard for human rights and economic mismanagement under President Alpha Condé.

The overthrow of President Alpha Conde in Guinea capped a steady slide from grace for the veteran opposition leader and human rights professor who critics say failed to live up to pledges to deliver democratic restoration and ethnic reconciliation.

Alpha Conde appeared in a social media video clip being held in custody after the military seizing power from him through a military coup on Sunday, announcing that it had dissolved the constitution, shut down the country’s borders and imposed a nationwide curfew.

Draped in a Guinean flag and surrounded by a group of six soldiers in full gear, Special Forces commander Colonel Mamady Doumbouya appeared on national television pledging to restore democracy.

“The personalization of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people,” Doumbouya said.

The colonel, who has headed a Special Forces unit in the military, said he was acting in the best interests of the nation of more than 12.7 million people. Not enough economic progress has been made since independence from France in 1958, he said.

According to reliable sources, a coup came a week after the parliament voted an increase in budget for the presidency, but a “substantial decrease” for civil servants and members of the security services.

The putsch came less than a year after Conde won a third presidential term in a violently disputed election last October following the adoption of a new constitution in March 2020 that allowed him to sidestep the country’s two-term limit.

The 2010 election of Conde, Guinea’s most prominent champion of multi-party democracy was greeted with optimism by human rights activists and international organisations.

Until then, Conde had been the chief critic of a succession of leaders: Ahmed Sekou Toure, who ruled from independence in 1958 until he died in 1984; Lansana Conte, who seized power in a coup after Toure’s death; and Moussa Dadis Camara, who led a coup after Conte’s death in 2008.

His advocacy earned him a death sentence under Toure, forcing him into exile in France, where he became an assistant professor of human rights at the Sorbonne.

He lost presidential elections to Conte in 1993 and 1998. In 1998, he was arrested on the eve of the vote, accused of plotting to overthrow the government and jailed for the next two years.

After the ruling military government agreed in 2010 to a democratic transition, Conde finally got his chance to stand in an open election and scored an upset victory over Diallo.

Early into his term, Condé faced challenges. In July 2011 he survived an assassination attack by a faction of soldiers. Condé also had to address the poor economic situation that he had inherited from the military junta, which he claimed had left the country bankrupt.

Legislative elections, which had originally been scheduled for 2011, were repeatedly delayed and were a source of political unrest in the country. They were eventually held on September 28, 2013. Of the 114 seats in the legislature, Condé’s RPG party and its partners won 53 seats, this was more than any other party or coalition but not enough for an absolute majority.

Diallo’s UFDG party won 37 seats, and smaller parties won the remainder of the legislative seats. The results of the election, however, were contested by opposition parties that claimed that fraudulent practices had occurred, and international observers voiced concerns over voting irregularities. Guinea’s Supreme Court upheld the election results in November.

In the run-up to the October 11, 2015, election, opposition parties voiced concerns that included whether the electoral commission was prepared to hold the election and fears that there had already been attempts to rig the vote. Still, opposition candidates, including Diallo, participated in the poll, which was lauded for being generally peaceful.

Before the results were announced, however, there were again allegations of fraud by the opposition, and international observers, while deeming the election valid, cited logistical problems and criticized the electoral commission for its lack of preparedness.

On October 14 Diallo withdrew from the election, citing the alleged fraud as his reason. When the results were announced three days later, Condé was declared the winner, with almost 58 percent of the vote; Diallo had won about 31 percent.

During Condé’s second term, the country’s economy was bolstered by significant expansion of the mining industry, especially with regard to its abundant bauxite reserves. Ongoing development of Guinea’s hydroelectric power capacity addressed some shortfalls in the country’s power supply and paved the way for further economic development.
This progress occurred, however, while Condé was being criticized for his increasingly authoritarian approach to dealing with dissent.

The government’s proposal in 2019 for a new constitution led to protests organized by the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (Front National pour la Défense de la Constitution; FNDC), a coalition of opposition groups—that continued into 2020

A referendum on the new constitution was scheduled for March 1, 2020, but, after international observers identified problems with the voter rolls, it was delayed until March 22. Legislative elections, due to have been held in 2018 but repeatedly delayed, were also held that day.
A boycott of the polls by the opposition contributed to an overwhelming vote in favour of the new constitution and to Condé’s RPG winning more than two-thirds of the National Assembly seats.
The new constitution was enacted on April 6, 2020.
In spite of the public anger at the prospect of Condé standing for a third term, he was nominated by the RPG to be its presidential candidate in 2020 October elections.
Condé was declared the winner, with almost 60 percent of the vote, Diallo placed second, with about 33 percent.

However, the results were called into question even before they were released. Diallo and his party claimed to have proof that he had actually won.

On November 1 they filed a complaint at the constitutional Court, asking for the results to be overturned. The court, however, ruled on November 7 to uphold the results, and Condé was inaugurated for his third term on December 15, 2020.

Alpha Conde was overturned on Sunday in a coup led by Col Mamady Doumbouya who is now in charge of Guinea leading a unit of elite soldiers after seizing powe.

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