Millions queued for the voting polls this Sunday in the second free election Guinea has had in 60 years since independence, the country will now wait out the process hoping it remains peaceful.
According to Adrian Fielding, Consultant at Africa Practice, the West African country voted peacefully after opposition leaders asked their supporters to be “calm” and visited the polls the voting process was relatively quiet.
Cellou Dalein Diallo called for calm which was a relief because there was still a risk of boycott but that could be temporary.
“What he [Cellou Dalein Diallo] said was – keep your strengths, reserve your energy right now cause you’ll need it later, so we do expect some election violence upon the announcement of the results and the intensity of the violence will be dependent on the results,” said Fielding.
Overall we can say that the vote went relatively well, relative to the violence in 2010 and 2013 said Fielding.
“The biggest issue was probably announced on Saturday, the day before at three pm only hours before the vote, there was still 400 000 registered voters that had not received their voter cards – that will probably be a decisive shortcoming,” he said.
Fielding explains that some tensions were high because of such delays and some mismanagement such as missing permanent ink, missing ballot boxes and rumours of opposition election representatives being kicked out of the polling stations.
“Alpha Condé is the first democratically elected president of Guinea and I say that the opposition would probably not agree but he all in all, there have been five years of relative democracy and this election will count towards the entrenchment of democratic process,” said Fielding.
Fielding states how he expects any attempts to discredit Alpha Conde before a second term even begins. One of those has been targeting him for the spread of Ebola in the country.
“Very personal insults being flung around with regards to Ebola – naturally it has been part of the invective targeted against Alpha Condé by opposition candidates, one of the many names they have called him was, ‘Alpha Ebola’,” said Fielding.
That being said, Fielding also felt that Ebola created a more “cohesive” society in Guinea.
“In a way I thought that Ebola had brought people a little bit more together – Ebola knows no ethnicities and affected all equally.”
Some of the violence could come from candidates like Sidya Touré said Fielding, as the party experienced some electoral malfunctioning while voting yesterday.