They came from all over the country to make their voices heard. Nearly 350 executives of the Rassemblement du peuple de guinée (RPG), the ruling party, met in a convention election for two days at the People's Palace, seat of the national Assembly in Conakry, with only one goal : nominate their candidate for the next presidential election of October 2020. And what was no secret was made official on Thursday : the delegates have asked the current president Alpha Condé, 82 years old, to be its candidate. A new nomination means a third term, highly controversial for the leader of guinea. "I have heard, I take notice," said the tenant of the palace Sékhoutouréya.
To those who expected a decisive answer about his choice as the party's candidate, president Alpha Condé has chosen to speak to a half-word. "If you want me to accept your proposal, it is necessary that you pledge to the RPG again be what it was, a party who does not forget anyone ", he added, citing the women, the young and the poor.
"I do not want people to govern as before, leaving some at the edge of the road," he said, arguing that " the main battle will be the fight against corruption ".
" It is necessary that we hear about all this ", he "must talk eyes in the eyes" to " make specific commitments ", said Alpha Conde, stating that he would meet here on Saturday, the delegations of the RPG of the different regions of the country.
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The calls of the foot of the RPG
After the praise of the first day of convention, the calls of speakers came to the tribune of the convention. "It is clear from the interventions advocacy in the direction of the president, Alpha Condé, for that he was willing to accept the will of the people to be the sole candidate of the RPG in the presidential election ", stated before the delegates of the RPG, the mp responsible for the synthesis of the work of the convention, Diakagbé Kaba.
"At the end of this convention, we expect that the Pr Alpha Condé, would respond favorably to our request, that is to say that it is our candidate for the next presidential election in Guinea," explained a little earlier to AFP Malick Sankon, a member of the political bureau national du RPG. "We have no alternative, no one is cleared, so we told him to continue to do the job and we'll see about that later ", he added.
The RPG wants " a national mobilization and total, including all structures of the party, for a victory in the first round of the presidential election ", had shortly before declared the mp Zeinab Camara, rapporteur of the committee responsible for election strategy.
Well before, a coalition of parties supporting the majority, the democratic Convention, for the change in the continuity (Codecc), was, it pronounced on Monday for a new application of Alpha Condé, highlighting its achievements, especially in terms of " economic take-off ". "I'm not saying they are total, but they affect all areas of social life ", told AFP the spokesman of the Codecc, the minister in charge of Hydraulics, Papa Koly Kourouma, who was also a minister under the junta of Moussa Dadis Camara before you run for the presidential elections of 2010 and 2015, won by Alpha Condé.
Counters to zero ?
Still, the president Alpha Condé, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, has so far not formally declared its candidacy for a third term in office, repeating for months that " it's his party who will decide ". In fact, the Constitution of guinea to limit the number of mandates to two, but the adoption in the beginning of the year a new fundamental law in a referendum boycotted by the opposition allows Alpha Condé to reset the counters to zero, according to its supporters. The leader of guinea from the ethnic group, the malinke, mainly installed in Upper Guinea, has repeatedly criticized the limitation to two the number of mandates permitted, calling it unfair.
And yet, Alpha Condé, born on 4 march 1938 in Boké – old opposition to all regimes that knew exile and prison, was the first democratically elected president after decades of authoritarian regimes in the former French colony of West Africa, where more than half of the population lives in poverty despite the richness of its subsoil.
He went to France at the age of 15 to pursue his studies and obtained degrees in economics, law and sociology. He then goes on to teach at the prestigious parisian university of the Sorbonne. At the same time, he conducted in the years 1960 the Federation of students of black Africa in France (FEANF) and anime movements of opposition to the dictatorial regime of Ahmed Sékou Touré, the "father of independence" in Guinea, a former French colony that gained its sovereignty in 1958.
Sékou Touré condemns Condé to death in absentia in 1970. During his exile of thirty years, the opponent is befriended by several personalities, including the French minister outgoing of foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner. He returned to the country in 1991, seven years after the death of Sékou Touré. The dictator was followed by a corporal authoritarian, Lansana Conté, who had to accept a timid democratization allows Condé to appear at the presidential election in 1993, then in 1998. These elections are neither free nor transparent, but Alpha Condé was officially credited with 27 % and 18 % of the vote.
The founder of the Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée (RPG) fear Lansana Conté, who does it stop just after the presidential election in 1998, even before the proclamation of the results. He was sentenced in 2000 to five years in prison for " crimes against the State authority and the integrity of the national territory ". He will serve part of his sentence : under international pressure, it is "pardoned" in 2001.
On his release from prison, he ensures that his "model" is Nelson Mandela, a former prisoner became in 1994 the first black president of South Africa. "You have to like him, to forgive but not forget ", he said then. In 2003, he is boycotting the presidential election, as the other candidates of the leading opposition parties.
After the death of Conté and the seizure of power by a junta led by captain Moussa Dadis Camara, at the end of 2008, Alpha Condé calls for elections and remained in opposition. He is on a visit to New York when the army represses in the blood a rally of the opposition in Conakry on 28 September 2008, killing 157 civilians. Condé is one of the first opponents to castigate the "able criminal" and to denounce the responsibility of the head of the junta in the massacre.
Slender, limping slightly, dressed more often than a shirt saharan africa, Alpha Conde, married three times and is the father of a boy, communicates very little with the press, but has the sense of the formula and knows how to enthuse his audience. Bordering Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, Guinea houses under its 245 900 km2 of important natural resources. This is one of the world's leading producers of bauxite. It has deposits of iron, gold, diamond and oil.
Condé has undertaken reforms to diversify the economy and develop the mining sector, which attracts foreign investment, but remains under-exploited for lack of infrastructure. Guinea, beset by corruption (138th out of 180 countries according to Transparency International), has high levels of inequality. More than 55 % of the population (12.4 million in 2018) live below the poverty line. Many do not have access to electricity and running water, according to the world Bank. And in the space of a few years, its governance has deteriorated. He is accused by his opponents of drift autocratic to the point of trying to bend the Constitution to his ambition of third term.
Complaint in France and risk of uprising
Launched in mid-October 2019 by the national Front for the defence of the Constitution (NDFC), formed of the main opposition parties and civil society organizations, the mobilisation against president Alpha Condé, several times suppressed, has already caused dozens of deaths among demonstrators. When it is the object of many criticisms of the association for the defense of human rights, which accused him of the violence of the forces of law and order during the demonstrations, which have been some 200 deaths since its arrival in power, according to the opposition – on the international level a legal action has just been launched in France.
A group of opponents to the government of guinea has filed a complaint before the parquet national financier in Paris against Alpha Condé, and several of his relatives for corruption, influence peddling and laundering of corruption. The company Alliance of Responsible Mining (ARM), at issue in this complaint, has denied on Wednesday the allegations against him, calling them " totally fictitious ".
With his speech this August 6th, there is no longer any doubt that the guinean president is heading to a new nomination, in spite of the wave of protests that this perspective raises for months.
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