Today's Paper Archive Classifieds Subscriptions RSS Feeds Site Map ePaper Mobile Apps Social
SEARCH

News » International

Updated: June 28, 2010 02:29 IST

First democratic poll in Guinea

AFP
Share  ·   print   ·  
General Sekouba Konate casts his ballot in Conakry on Sunday.
AFP General Sekouba Konate casts his ballot in Conakry on Sunday.

Guineans headed to the polls on Sunday in the West African nation's first democratic election since independence in 1958, hoping to end half a century of military and civilian dictatorships.

Long queues of patient voters built up around the country to take part in the crucial election just nine months after the Army massacre of at least 156 opponents of a military junta in a Conakry stadium. “I am happy to vote freely,” said shopkeeper and mother-of-five Marieme Kande (50), who was the first to cast her ballot in Conakry.

Abdoul Barry (55) said it was the “second happiest day of my life” after his wedding in 1986.

“I have had many occasions to vote in Guinea, but I always refused because one could not trust the results.”

In a working class neighbourhood in the Conakry suburbs, polling stations were flooded with an enthusiastic but disciplined crowd mostly composed of youths.

“I don't know my number,” or “where is my polling station?”, asked anxious voters who were unable to read in the Cosa neighbourhood, in a country where two-thirds of the population is illiterate.

A large turnout is expected among the 4.2 million Guineans eligible to choose a President from among 24 civilian candidates, including one woman, at 8,261 polling stations around the country.

The three frontrunners are the former Prime Ministers Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure, and a former opposition leader, Alpha Conde.

The new leaders will have their work cut out for them in a country which is one of the world's poorest and unstable despite massive mineral wealth in bauxite and iron stores.

Guinea has been led by a transition government for the past six months, headed by General Sekouba Konate, the architect of a coup that followed the death of long-time President Lansana Conte, another military leader, in 2008.

Keywords: Guinea polls

RELATED NEWS

Presidential run-off in Guinea postponed againOctober 23, 2010

More In: International | News
Musharraf Indictment
Is the Army losing its pivotal role in Pakistan politics?
Yes
No
Can't say


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in International

South Korean Coast Guard police officers on a boat, sail near the buoys which were installed to mark the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday.

Cries of anguish as S Korea ferry toll reaches 130

For a moment there is silence in the tent where bodies from the ferry disaster are brought for identification. Then the anguished cries... »