Guinea: Opposition Gives International Community A Lesson in Democracy
September 18, 2013
Donzos (hunters), one of many irregular militias of Alpha Conde’s, celebrating after attack on opposition neighborhoods, primarily Peul, in 2011.
At first, news of the cancellation of the opposition demonstration scheduled for this Thursday, September 19, suggested that either the opposition didn’t know what it was doing or it had caved in to international community pressure.
Yet, on second glance, it is good strategy. Unlike the fraud of the 2010 election which oozed like a fast-moving slime throughout the country on election day, confounding voters with logistical “glitches,” voter intimidation tactics and and widespread disenfranchisement schemes, the government’s fraud weaved into the 2013 election is easily detectable because the opposition knows what to look for now and the government, arrogant after its 2010 theft, may have been a bit careless.
When it comes to Guinea, you cannot talk about the 2013 legislative elections without talking about the 2010 presidential election. A previous post on this blog suggests that the 2013 election has little to do with Guineans’ economic, social and political needs, rather it is largely about advancing the goals of the international community. The election of 2010 was a bloody, deadly, raping hell. The fraud built into the election computers was not enough to pull out a sure “win” for Conde. That required Gen. Sekouba Konate to unleash heavy repression and cruel tricks to disenfranchise voters throughout the country. International representatives in Guinea watched it all and said nothing. Most especially, they said nothing about ethnic killings even though Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group and others, were screaming it from the rooftops.
Given this background, it was particularly prudent for the opposition to collect as much verifiable evidence as possible, before September 24, regarding the government’s intent to commit fraud in the 2013 election. Signaling a welcome, but brief, respite from the international representatives’ mantra, “2013 elections must take place as planned,” the opposition turned its evidence over to Said Djinnit earlier this week. While many members of the international community are ready to send Guineans over the cliff, like lemmings, to their political death, others know that the jig is up. Now, the international community must take its foot off the accelerator. No more coercion of the opposition — the country’s political majority. The world is watching a lot more closely than just a few days ago.
And, for all those tired of postponement after postponement of the election, you would be wise not to take such a simplistic view. Yes, this election may not take place on Tuesday. It has nothing to do with politicians’ egos, lack of patriotism, or unwillingness to let the country progress. Quite the contrary. All those who are concerned about the election not going off as planned because the country won’t be able to tackle its social and economic ills, you should know that Alpha Conde is your roadblock, not the postponement of a crooked election. Those who remain impatient must have something to gain from no water, no electricity, keeping the opposition under wraps with state-sponsored violence, and proliferation of an anti-Peul policy which has prevented Guineans from direct participation ever since Alpha Conde usurped the presidency.