Guinea’s 82 year old President H.E Alpha Conde will be seeking a third term in office on Sunday after 10 years in power, consequently trashing the appeals of thousands of protesters who flooded the streets to try to express dissatisafaction about the move.
The former opposition leader who was once once sentenced to death by a dictatorial regime, Mr. Conde, according to his critics, is himself drifting into authoritarianism by plotting to extend his grip on power.
In March this year, he pushed through a revamped constitution that he said would modernise the country, but which opponents cast as a ploy to stay in office beyond the two-term presidential limit.
“I fought for 45 years, I was an opposition leader. My opponents are civil servants who became prime ministers after tearing the country to the ground. It’s extraordinary that I am considered an undemocratic dictator.” Conde said earlier this month.
Conde is facing Cellou Dalein Diallo on October 18. Mr. Diallo was a prime minister in the Lansana Conte government. The 68-year-old was at the forefront of protests against a Conde third term, which security forces cracked down on, leaving dozens of people dead.
Diallo and Conde hail from different ethnic groups as politics in the resource-rich nation of 13 million people are mostly drawn along ethnic lines.
President Conde’s RPG party is largely backed by Malinke people, and Diallo’s UFDG by Fulani people, although both insist that they are pluralist.