AD392: La démocratie guinéenne est-elle piégée?

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Aliou Barry

Guinea has just adopted a new Constitution following the controversial referendum of March 22, 2020, which was coupled with legislative elections that led to the establishment of a new National Assembly. This double ballot was boycotted by a good number of Guineans. The new Constitution stipulates that the President of the Republic is elected for a six-year term, renewable once. October 18, 2020 is the date set for the next presidential election in a context marked by a standoff between the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution of 2010 (FNDC) and the power in place, which is running for a third term. . The FNDC, a civic group that has initiated a series of protests since October 2019 against a constitutional reform that would lead President Alpha Condé to a third round,

Although socially, Guinea is considered a stable country in the sub-region, it is often crossed by significant civil unrest and remains politically fragile. The weakness of governance and the under-utilization of natural resources, however numerous and diverse, have resulted in making its population one of the poorest in the world. On the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (2019), Guinea occupies 174th place out of 189.

The country's fragility is not linked to grassroots cohabitation, but to the political use of the ethnic phenomenon in Guinea. The authority of the state is sufficiently shaken, and the citizens do not trust the justice. Law enforcement officials are regularly accused of using live ammunition, without any investigation and punishment (UNDP / Stat View International, 2018).

All successive regimes have used ethnicity to establish their authority and to achieve their political goals. The ethnicization of political life even affects the foundations of democracy and the functioning of the institutions of the nation, which are weakened by interference of all kinds (UNECA / Stat View, 2013).

It should be noted that from 1958 to 2008, Guinea only had two presidents. None of them allowed democratic alternation at the head of state. Both had held on to power until their deaths through gimmicks ranging from unopened or non-transparent elections to changing the constitution (UNECA / Stat View, 2013).

Faced with the presidential election of October 18, an analysis of data from the recent Afrobarometer survey, at the end of 2019, shows significant concerns on the part of Guineans in relation to their democracy. Few of them say they are satisfied with its functioning, and many fear violent conflicts generated by competition between political parties. The majority of Guineans do not trust the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the courts and tribunals. However, the bodies in charge of the management of the electoral process, including the counting of votes, the proclamation of the provisional results and those final, are the CENI and the Constitutional Court. A lack of public confidence in these institutions could give rise to doubts about the sincerity of the election results.

Based on all these elements, we must therefore fear violence during and after the ballot, especially in the absence of electoral observers dispatched by the sub-regional and international organizations empowered for this purpose.