Conde, Conde and Camara: A Troika of Deceit Fixes New Date for Guinea’s Legislative Elections – July 8
A few days ago, Alhassane Conde (Guinea’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization) announced that Guinea’s legislative elections would take place in May, assuring voters that everything was in place and ready to go.
Yesterday, Louceny Camara, president of Guinea’s electoral commission, announced that since the work of the CENI had been suspended during part of the dialogue talks, more time was needed to prepare for the legislative elections. He suggested July 8. Directly after the announcement, Alhassane Conde stated that July 8 was “doable.” Alpha Conde chimed in with a thumbs up. The obvious voice missing was the opposition which was not consulted about a new date beforehand. The opposition is meeting today, Friday, to form its position on the new date and will make an announcement later.
This Alpha Conde-Alhassane Conde-Louceny Camara troika treatment of the opposition is akin to cowboys in a bar room fight where an innocent person is thrown back and forth between them each making sure to land full-knuckle punches.
Do Guineans really want these three to plan anything on their behalf, much less legislative elections? The answer is a resounding “NO!” and for good reason. A little background on each one tells the story:
Alpha Conde, president “selected”
Alpha Conde assumed the role of head of state after stealing the 2010 presidential election with the assistance of the CENI president, Louceny Camara and the interim government. During the campaign, after the election, and into the presidency, Conde has been fire-breathing ethnic hatred, specifically against Foulahs. During the campaign, after a false story circulated that Foulahs had poisoned Malinkes at one of his rallies, Conde perpetuated the story which incited his followers. Malinkes attacked and killed Foulahs as well as burned their homes and businesses in Siguiri and Kourousso. This forced thousands to flee from their towns which left them disenfranchised in the upcoming election because they were unable to return to their home voting stations on election day.
As president,on April 3, 2011, Conde ordered security forces to fire upon unarmed supporters of Cellou Diallo, his former opponent, who had gathered at the airport to welcome their leader home after a long stay abroad. Two were killed, scores were injured and several were arrested. After a few months in office, wouldn’t this have been a good time for Conde to be magnanimous and not interfere with the gathering? More likely, Conde was concerned that images of a huge homecoming for Diallo would only serve to remind people that Diallo was the legitimate winner of the presidential election.
In July 2011, Conde claimed that his home was attacked in an attempt to assassinate him. The house was damaged, but Conde was not hurt, and to this day most Guineans do not believe it was a real attack. It appears that Conde used the “incident” as an excuse to round up Guineans, many Foulah. One of the most high profile Guineans Conde targeted is the Vice-President of the UFDG opposition party, Bah Oury, who had to run for his life because Conde had sent the military to his house to kill him. To this day, Oury remains in exile.
On September 27, 2011, Conde ordered his forces, once again, to attack unarmed opposition supporters. Conde supplemented Guinean forces with Donzos, mercenaries from the Forest region. At least four opposition members were killed, over 100 were injured and hundreds were arrested.
Wherever Conde goes his rhetoric is openly anti-Foulah. Lately, military and police have been involved in clandestine murders of Foulah. With Conde, the country sits on the precipice of an ethnic war.
Alhassane Conde, attack dog extraordinaire
Alhassane Conde, a less well-known figure, holds one of the most important positions in Guinea. He is the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (Interior Minister) and is able to stick his fingers into many pies, the latest of which is the legislative elections. Conde also serves as the attack dog for the current administration and his primary targets are the opposition, and, in particular Foulahs.
In his most outrageous anti-Foulah statement, Conde said that Foulahs are not even Guineans and the UFDG opposition party is not in good standing, in fact, the UFDG has no status.
Louceny Camara, head of the CENI and expert on committing election fraud
Louceny Camara is like a bad penny — he just keeps showing up. Louceny Camara’s primary job in the CENI was to commit sufficient fraud have Alpha Conde declared president in November 2010. Louceny’s continued presence in the CENI is to commit sufficient fraud to insure that Alpha Conde achieves a majority in the Guinean legislature.
During the first round of the 2010 presidential election, Camara stole ballots from 109 voting stations in Ratoma and Matoto, areas where candidates Cellou Diallo and Sidya Toure had widespread support. If those votes had been properly included in the tallies, Diallo would have won the election outright in the first round. A UN observer told a human rights organization representative that he saw Camara abscond with the ballots and that he would be willing to testify to this fact. The ballots were found at Camara’s home. Diallo filed a complaint against Camara. On October 22, Camara was indicted, convicted and sentenced to one year in prison for election fraud. Of course, Camara has never seen the inside of a jail cell for these crimes — Alpha Conde has seen to that. But, the point is, that Camara is a convicted felon judged guilty of massive election fraud and he remains the head of Guinea’s electoral council, the CENI. This one fact should make it impossible for Guinea to hold an election.
In September 2010, Camara rigged a vote taken in the CENI to fill the post of president due to the death of the previous president. Camara was announced the winner. Several fellow CENI members walked out in protest, claimed he paid some members to votes for him, and subsequently thirteen of the members submitted a petition to have him replaced. The Conde machine protected him.
Throughout the two rounds of the election, Camara was responsible for all manner of voter list, ballot box, vote counting fraud imaginable. During his watch, at least 33 election computers went missing and then re-appeared. It is believed that these computers were sent out of the country to be tampered with in favor of Apha Conde.
Guinea Oye! will provide more background on Camara in a subsequent post.
The gross fraud associated with the CENI, the political machine used to “select” Alpha Conde as president, and the relentless ethnic bashing which permeated the election were well-known when the international community declared that Guinea had a free and fair election in 2010. Look what a travesty it led to: the man who lost the election arrives at the presidency without a mandate because of the circumstances of his “selection.” To preserve himself, he has to command more and more election fraud and instill sufficient ethnic hatred to rally his forces so that they will do whatever is necessary to keep him in office. The international community should not make the same mistake again. This time, looking the other way will only lead to ethnic cleansing.