CONTENT PREVIEW
Country Risk

Guinean opposition’s rejection of local election results increases risks of persistent violent protests before September parliamentary poll

23 February 2018

Key Points

  • President Condé’s RPG enjoyed a clear lead in the first local polls since 2005 but was beaten in the capital Conakry and lost its dominance in the mining region of Boké.
  • The main opposition UFDG and UFR denounced the polls as fraudulent, prompting persistent violent demonstrations centring on Peul neighbourhoods in the capital, Conakry, and causing disruption to port traffic.
  • Protests are likely to continue up until legislative polls due in September, particularly if the UFDG is not appeased by recount offers and electoral reform proposals.

Event

The results announced on 21 February showed the ruling Rassemblement du Peuple Guinéen (Rally of the Guinean People: RPG) won the most votes and councillors in the first local elections held since 2005.

Riot police in Conakry on 6 February prepare to disperse people demonstrating to denounce the results of Guinea's local elections. (Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images)Riot police in Conakry on 6 February prepare to disperse people demonstrating to denounce the results of Guinea's local elections. (Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images)

However, the main opposition Union des Forces Démocratiques de Guinée (Union of Guinea Democratic Forces: UFDG) beat the RPG in the capital, Conakry, where around a quarter of the population lives, and also made advances in the mining region of Boké. UFDG leader Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Touré, head of the third-placed Union des Forces Républicaines (Union of Republican Forces: UFR), both denounced perceived electoral fraud even as polls closed, prompting persistent outbreaks of rioting in Conakry and throughout the country which are still continuing.

The results show the RPG secured approximately 1.35 million votes and 3,284 council seats out of a total of 7,021. The UFDG – strongly identified with the Peul ethnic group, which makes up around 40% of Guinea’s population – won 893,000 votes and 2,156 council seats and the UFR around 190,000 votes and 447 council seats. In the five communes of Conakry, the UFDG took 69 seats to the RPG’s 57, but will only have majority control of the council in the Peul-dominated neighbourhood of Ratoma where it took two-thirds of the seats.

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