On October 18, a presidential election was held in Guinea whose preparation and context augured the worst. President Alpha Condé and his family managed to run for a third term in office at the cost of a bloody crackdown on demonstrations against the amendment of the constitution (at least 52 dead), and created a climate of tension that erupted a few hours after the polls closed.
Several people were killed (16 people according to the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution including two of its members; at least 4 according to the Ministry of Security) in clashes between opposition supporters and security forces, Wednesday, October 21, in Conakry, three days after the Guinean presidential election. The partial results published by the INEC, which give Alpha Conde the lead in the first round, are strongly contested by his rival Cellou Dalein Diallo who claimed victory the day after the elections.
The presidential campaign has exacerbated community divisions that the speeches of appeasement of the various candidates can not contain. The International Criminal Court and the United Nations had, moreover, taken a stand in the run-up to the elections to denounce certain hate speeches and the repression of peaceful demonstrations. The requisitioning of the army to maintain order decided on 22 October by the government risks aggravating the situation and contravenes the recommendation of April 2018 of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights in this regard.
The AU and ECOWAS expressed satisfaction with the electoral process, forgetting that an electoral process is not judged solely by the calm in which the polls were held. The representatives of African authorities neglected the fragility of the electoral register, the repression of the opposition and civil society or the mistrust of some political and social actors towards the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and finally endorsed the violation of the presidential term limits by Alpha Condé. The Charter of Democracy of the African Union, which prohibits "any revision of the Constitutions that undermines the principles of democratic alternation" (Article 23) but also Article 1 sub-paragraph c. of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance are once again trampled underfoot by the bodies supposed to defend them.
On the side of Guinea's western partners, after common positions were taken at the beginning of 2020 to avoid the holding of the constitutional referendum or to support the criticism of the electoral system by the OIF; France, the United States and the European Union have remained silent. The candidacy for a third term of office of Alassane Ouattara in neighboring Ivory Coast may have been right in its positions adopted on the respect of the Constitution in Guinea.
Faced with this situation which will have significant repercussions throughout the sub-region, Tournons La Page (TLP) and its member organisations recommend to the African Union, ECOWAS, the United States and the European Union (especially France) and its member states to :
- Require the Guinean authorities to publish election results on a polling station-by-polling station basis to allow for control over the compilation of results and the transparent handling of potential electoral disputes,
- Condemn the post-election violence and to do everything possible to ensure that an independent international investigation can be conducted into the rights violations committed since October 2019 in Guinea.
- Protect political and civil society actors and human rights defenders demanding democracy, in particular through political and financial support as defined in the European Union guidelines on the matter .
- Sanction Guinean government officials, members of the ruling party and their allies by drawing up lists of names of those involved in the pre- and post-election repression: freezing and monitoring of their assets abroad; visa ban; cancellation of residence permits....
- Suspend all support and training to the Guinean security and defence forces, which are responsible for many well-documented abuses.
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