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Q&A: Guinea parliamentary elections

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image copyrightAFP
image captionThe polls signify a return to civilian rule

The people of Guinea are due to go to the polls on 28 September to choose their first parliament since a coup in 2008.

Poll dates have been repeatedly scheduled and then postponed, largely due to allegations by opposition parties that the government was trying to rig the vote. The political atmosphere is charged with intense distrust between the government and opposition parties. After a series of negotiations failed to end the impasse, the UN stepped in and helped set a date.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionLansana Conte led Guinea for 24 years

Guinea experienced a coup in 2008, hours after long-time President Lansana Conte died. Following the coup, the army dissolved parliament and it was not until February 2010 that a National Transitional Council was appointed to assume the role of the legislature and begin creating conditions for a return to civilian rule.

Presidential elections were held in 2010. President Alpha Conde won narrowly in what is sometimes regarded as Guinea's first genuine democratic exercise since independence from France in 1958. Despite complaints from the opposition, international observers declared them free and fair and Guinea seemed set on the path to democracy. But the parliamentary elections that were scheduled to follow six months later to seal Guinea's political transition never took place. The opposition threatened boycotts and led street protests that often turned violent.

image copyrightAFP
image captionCellou Dalein Diallo (R) and Sidya Toure acknowledge supporters during a demonstration against an earlier election date announced by Alpha Conde

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More on this story

  • Guinea country profile