Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, saw himself in Mandela, will he end up in Mugabe?

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The line is cruel in the mouth of one of his former traveling companions: “Alpha Condé dreamed of being a West African Mandela, isn’t he likely to end up in Mugabe instead?” “ The President of Guinea is neither, but this comparison with two African icons – tails, the image of the immaculate hero of the struggle against South African apartheid and, facing side, the metamorphosis from the intractable anti-colonial fighter and liberator of the former Southern Rhodesia into an old-fashioned ubiquitous dictator – reflects the disappointment that has won over some of his most loyal supporters. Alpha Condé, the former opponent, crowned by a life of struggle for democracy during the dictatorship of Sékou Touré (1958-1984) then under the autocratic regime of Lansana Conté (1984-2008), which earned him a death sentence by absent, then a few years later a stay in prison, does not he, now 82 years old, try too many presidential terms?

If he is elected at the end of this ballot, the first round of which is to be held on Sunday, October 18, it will be his third term. Not much compared to Robert Mugabe and his thirty-seven years at the helm of Zimbabwe. It was not until 2010 that Alpha Condé became president of Guinea. A mandate won at the end of the first pluralist and free election since the independence, in 1958, of this former French colony. It was a historic moment. A pluralist and free ballot, without being irreproachable because of the four tumultuous months which separated the two rounds and offered Alpha Condé an almost miraculous victory. In July 2010, he won only 17% of the vote against 43% for his main opponent, Cellou Dalein Diallo. In the second round, Alpha Condé won 53% of the votes. In 2015, the following ballot, many also wondered about the regularity of the “knockout shot”. ”Of the outgoing president, his pre-electoral slogan announcing a victory in the first round against, again, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who remains today his main competitor.

Read also Presidential election in Guinea: ten small candidates in the shadow of the “mastodons”

This year, his candidacy is marred by a constitutional reform led to the hussar, which erased in one stroke the limitation of the two presidential terms authorized until then. This initiative caused a stir, including in its own majority. It notably led to the thunderous resignation of its minister of higher education, Abdoulaye Yéro Baldé. In a letter sent in February to his ” dad “ in politics, he regretted that “The values ​​of democracy, freedom, justice and solidarity” who had led decades of common struggle within the Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG), the presidential party, are relegated to the background. “The vision was for you to be the first president to ensure not only a democratic and peaceful transition of power in Guinea, but also to guarantee a climate of peace and political stability in our country”, he wrote. “The institutions and the social fabric which constitute the base of a strong nation are weakened every day more”, regretted the resigning minister.

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