The following video was shot on May 16, 2010, just a month before the first round of Guinea’s presidential election. The scene is downtown Conakry where, perhaps, the largest crowd of the 2010 campaign season gathered to greet candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo.
Is it any wonder that Louceny Camara, an operative of the RPG (Alpha Conde’s Party) and member of the Guinean electoral council (CENI), committed massive fraud to prevent Diallo from winning the election outright in the first round? Camara was convicted in September 2010 of electoral fraud and sentenced to a year of prison — of course, he never saw the inside of a jail cell.
And, now, within the last week, we have seen Alpha Conde’s administration’s go to extraordinary lengths to prevent a mass meeting of opposition leaders and supporters. Commander of the gendarmerie, General Ibrahima Balde, stated before the planned gathering that the opposition had distributed weapons to its supporters — a bald-faced lie that the opposition intends to challenge in court. Yesterday, Balde, in an ominous message, stated that the country will take appropriate measures to prevent those who present a danger to the public from gathering. This is the Conde formula for Guinean politics: criminalize the opposition and then ban it from meetingbecause it is a “threat” to the public. Given that Conde did not arrive at Sekoutoureya Palace with a popular mandate, the last thing he wants the world to see is such a huge crowd again, chanting in unison, “Conde, get out!”