The Guinea 2015 elections are under way, and live results are available as the country goes to vote for just the second time in decades.
This Sunday’s presidential election started under protest, as political opponents called for delays to fix what they called irregularities. The West African nation’s largest ethnic groups have come into conflict as President Alpha Conde was pitted against challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo.
The largest ethnic group, the Peuhl, often complain of being left out of the political process and are in conflict against the Malinke, who are mostly loyal to Conde.
The winner of the 2015 Guinea election will be decided by an absolute majority vote with a two round system, with the winner serving a five-year term. This will be only the second presidential election for Guinea since the end of a military dictatorship in 2009.
As the International Business Times noted, the Guinea 2015 election results could spill into a much deeper conflict, with riots possible. There have already been conflicts in the days leading up to the election, with battles on Thursday and Friday after Conde’s refusal to put off the election.
Supporters from each side threw rocks at one another, clashes that left at least seven people dead. The violence is expected to grow as the nation goes to vote and awaits results.
The country has erupted into violence before, with every vote in recent years leading to conflict between the two largest ethnic groups. Dozens of people were also killed in 2013 during legislative elections.
The 77-year-old Conde is a Marxist and member of the Rally of the Guinean People party, who after years in political exile returned to power in 2010. The election results were disputed, and Conde was accused of imposing a brutal rule. He is favored to win again in the 2015 Guinea election.
But backers of the 63-year-old Diallo hope he can ride his support to knock off the favored Conde.
As the IB Times noted, there are some important factors at stake in the Guinea 2015 elections.
“Guinea ranks No. 9 among the least-developed countries in the world with 43 percent of its population living on less than $1.25 a day, according to United Nations figures. The Ebola crisis that began last year continues to cripple West African economies, even as transmission rates show substantial signs of slowing. The World Bank Group has estimated that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the worst-affected countries, will lose at least $2.2 billion in economic growth in 2015 as a result of the deadly epidemic.”
Many people have pointed to Alpha Conde as the source of the latest woes.
“Actively harmful policies pursued by the current government — including forced expropriations, corrupt awarding of contracts, a misguided review of mining licenses, and hostility to foreign investment — were the cause of much of the current economic misery,” said David Rice, an adjunct professor at New York University and director of the Development Dividend Project. “Guineans are suffering today for one reason and one reason only: a failure of leadership. Economically and technically speaking, considering the immense wealth residing both on top of and underneath her soil, there is no reason why Guinea should not be on par with the world’s middle-income countries, rather than remaining trapped amongst the poorest.”
— AJE News (@AJENews) October 11, 2015
Millions of people are expected to head to the polls. The 2013 election brought a turnout of more than 80 percent, with more than 4 million of the country’s total 11 million people casting ballots.
Millions head to polls in tense Guinea election http://t.co/wpstZec6K6
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) October 11, 2015
The results of Sunday’s election may not be the end of the presidential race. Many political analysts believe that the vote will be close enough to require the second round of voting, adding even more uncertainty into what is already a volatile process.
Those who want to follow the 2015 Guinea election results live online will be able to find voting totals at AllAfrica, which has provided ongoing coverage of the election. Animata has also provided full election coverage.
[Picture by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images]