From the Editor’s Keyboard

Guinea: Professor Alpha Conde is poised to win a second term

By  | 14 October 2015 at 11:05 | 2031 views

Guineans went to the polls last Sunday without fanfare and a lot of emotions. It seems the incumbent President Alpha Conde (pictured) has the crown neatly wrapped and embedded in his bag even before the whistle was blown.

He was the first presidential candidate to go out and vote, followed by his toughest rival Cellou Dalein Diallo. The others followed later, each candidate voting at a different location. But to most Guineans and international observers, the result is really a foregone conclusion: Conde will win again. For the second time.

The reasons why Conde will win easily this time (the first time was not an easy ride) is that he is better prepared and well organized, touring every corner of the country. He even went to Cellou Diallo’s home town (Dalein) where he was warmly welcomed. Cellou is his toughest opponent both now and in the past. But as far as Conde is concerned there are no opposition strongholds for him in Guinea.

Let’s don’t beat about the bush: Conde has massive financial resources at his disposal to "shake hands" (as we say in Sierra Leone) with anybody that matters in both urban and rural Guinea. That’s very important in African politics. Cellou does not have even half of Conde’s resources both human and material having been out of office (unemployed) since former President Lansana Conte passed away in 2008. He was at one time Prime Minister in the late dictator’s regime. In African politics money talks and it talks loudly.

But financial power aside, this is a man that is well known all over Guinea. He spent most of his life as an opposition activist, spending time in and out of jail challenging Guinea’s first president Sekou Toure and later Lansana Conte. He is also well known in France, Paris, to be specific, where he had lived for many years. The current French President Francois Hollande is a personal friend of his.He also has many contacts in most of the Francophone world and the rest of the globe. These are all assets that make the man difficult to beat. He has too many powerful contacts compared with his opponents.

As the main opposition leader, Cellou Diallo, 63, is also well known both in Guinea and internationally. This is his second bid for the crown. And may try again for a third time if he loses this one yet again. At least seventy-seven-year old Conde may not go for a third term except if he decides to twist the neck of the Guinean Constitution.

Like I said at the beginning, this October 11 election is already in Conde’s bag despite the cries of foul play by the opposition while the votes are still being counted late into the night with lamps and flashlights in some remote corners of the country with no electricity. But don’t worry representatives of all the contesting political parties and international observers are watching the counting everywhere in the country.

Conde has always been saying long before the polls that he does not want a second round this time. He wants a first round knock out like Mike Tyson in his glory days. Conde, like Iron Mike, might just get his knockout soon. Or maybe not.

We will have to wait and see on that one. But again whatever happens, second round or no second round, Conde will emerge victorious. I can bet on that although I am not a gambler.