‘Papa Promise’ fails to ship
If Guinea’s aged, infirm president Alpha Condé is re-elected on Sunday, will he be yet one more of the nation’s presidents to die in workplace?
Maybe probably the most hanging picture from Guinea’s electoral marketing campaign was when President Alpha Condé was interviewed by information channel France 24 at his palace in Sékoutoureya within the capital, Conakry. The top of state turns 83 subsequent March, and on digicam he appeared significantly diminished, each bodily and intellectually.
He struggled to maintain his eyes open, and was unable to suppress a persistent grimace. In the course of the interview, the president discovered it tough to specific himself, particularly regarding latest occasions. He was most comfy dwelling on the previous, elevating his voice and slicing off the 2 interviewers to lecture them within the pedagogical tone for which he’s well-known, and for which he’s nicknamed “The Professor” (he started his profession instructing regulation on the Sorbonne in Paris).
Fifteen minutes into the interview, the thought occurred: if Condé is re-elected on Sunday, will he be yet one more Guinean president who dies in workplace?
Regardless of his superior age, and regardless of having already served two phrases in workplace, Condé was seemingly unable to discover a successor in his get together, the Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée. To permit himself to run once more, he altered the nation’s structure to take away the supply on time period limits. This sparked fierce protests from each opposition events and civil society organisations, which spilled over into huge demonstrations through which tons of of 1000’s of residents took to the streets, all shouting “Amoulanfé” (“This won’t cross” in Sousou, one of many 4 principal native languages).
The brutal response from state safety forces killed dozens.
Condé’s report throughout his decade in energy is combined. He strengthened some elements of the nation’s democracy, together with releasing media and releasing political prisoners. And due to his financial insurance policies, Guinea is now the third-largest producer of bauxite on the earth.
However he has additionally did not ship on his many guarantees (so many who some younger folks consult with him, sarcastically, as “Papa Promise”), particularly relating to service supply and financial growth. In a latest analysis report, the Affiliation of Bloggers of Guinea discovered that the president had fulfilled simply 13% of the pledges he had made. “On schooling, city planning and business, the failures are important,” stated the affiliation’s president Alfa Diallo. On the mass demonstrations, widespread discontent centered primarily on the persevering with struggles to entry electrical energy and the dire lack of roads.
In the course of the marketing campaign, the president’s group glossed over these failures. “The federal government’s electoral marketing campaign lingered much less on its combined report and was content material to scold opponents,” stated Kabinet Fofana, the director of the Guinean Affiliation of Political Science. Fofana stated that Condé’s want to stay in workplace was pushed by highly effective enterprise pursuits, which may lose out underneath a unique administration.
In different phrases, Condé doesn’t essentially have robust widespread help, though within the absence of dependable opinion polls that is tough to measure.
Towards this backdrop, tensions are working excessive. “With the whole lack of belief between political figures, I concern renewed violence after Sunday’s vote,” stated Fofana.
These issues have been echoed final week by Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the Worldwide Felony Courtroom, in an official assertion. “As in earlier elections, the place comparable episodes of violence broke out, I name for calm and restraint from all political actors and their supporters,” she stated.
These are harmful days for Guinea, however the nation has been right here earlier than — as Condé properly is aware of. He was a political exile underneath the “revolutionary dictatorship” of Ahmed Sékou Touré, the primary strongman of an unbiased Guinea. He was additionally a political prisoner underneath the decades-long navy regime of Basic Lansana Conté.
But he seems to be following the identical authoritarian path solid by his predecessors. His frail tv interview even recalled Conté’s final years, when the overall was so infirm that in the course of the 2003 presidential vote he didn’t have the power to depart his car, and the poll field needed to be delivered to him.
Conté died in workplace in 2008. Sékou Touré died in workplace in 1984. Is Guinea doomed to repeat historical past as soon as once more?
“There’s a type of continuity in governance,” noticed the thinker Amadou Sadjo Barry, a professor on the Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, a university in Quebec, Canada. “Behind democratic formalism, authoritarian practices persist. For the reason that dying of Sékou Touré, politics has now not been linked to the organisation of society and particular person progress.”
This pattern persists regardless of Guinea’s important mineral wealth, which contrasts so sharply with the nation’s excessive and widespread poverty. “We’re in decline as a result of this authoritarianism has did not carry financial growth and meet folks’s aspirations,” stated Barry.
Thus far, the Guinean folks have been provided little hope that the elections on Sunday will arrest that decline.
Ouattara seeks third time period underneath 2016 structure
Leanne de Bassompierre in Abdijan
Two weeks away from Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential elections, campaigning is formally underway, with incumbent Alassane Ouattara, who’s looking for a controversial third time period, kicking off his marketing campaign with a rally within the central metropolis of Bouaké on Friday.
Opposition events have referred to as for the election to be postponed over what they deem Ouattara’s unconstitutional bid for a 3rd time period, however stopped in need of saying they’ll boycott the ballot. The ruling get together maintains a brand new structure adopted in 2016 reset the clock on time period limits, and that the election will happen no matter whether or not the opposition participates.
“I look ahead to seeing you on the night of 31 October 2020, to have fun the RHDP’s victory,” Ouattara advised a gathering of his get together’s strategic committee on Wednesday, in line with a replica of his speech.
The 78-year-old former International Financial Fund government is useless set on a first-round victory, through which he might want to persuade greater than 50% of the nation’s almost 7.5-million registered voters to help him.
Whereas the official marketing campaign interval runs from 15 to 29 October, Ouattara has been on the street for weeks, personally saying a 21% enhance within the worth paid to cocoa farmers at the beginning of the principle harvest on 1 October within the capital Yamoussoukro and inaugurating a number of infrastructure initiatives, the cornerstone of his presidency.
Locals joke he’d even attend a random baptism if invited.
But in a rustic the place the median age is eighteen.9 years, each the incumbent and his octogenarian principal rival, Henri Konan Bedié, 86, should win over a rising youth inhabitants.
“Over the subsequent two weeks, your efforts ought to deal with proximity by means of door-to-door operations, detailing our outcomes (till now) and ambitions for the subsequent 5 years in easy and accessible phrases to our compatriots,” Ouattara stated.
Ouattara’s camp has emphasised his bodily health. It is a related concern: in any case, the sudden dying of his chosen successor Amadou Gon Coulibaly this July is what led Ouattara to announce his candidacy a month later.
Opposition may cease Mafuguli’s re-election
Simon Mkina in Dar es Salaam
Tanzania’s election is scheduled for 28 October, and though there are 16 events in competition solely two have any actual likelihood of victory.
Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), the ruling get together since independence in 1961, has by no means misplaced an election. It’s led by incumbent president John Magufuli, who’s working for a second time period in workplace. Hoping to upset its dominance is Chadema, the principle opposition get together, which is fielding charismatic parliamentarian Tundu Lissu as its presidential candidate.
The ruling get together’s marketing campaign has been very loud and really seen. President Magufuli’s face and the get together’s signature inexperienced and yellow colors may be discovered on posters, leaflets and billboards throughout the nation, and protection of his marketing campaign dominates tv broadcasts, radio airtime and newspapers.
It helps, after all, that the media area is tightly managed by the federal government and its allies. Influential artists and actors, together with Diamond Platinumz, Ali Kiba and Harmonize have endorsed his bid for re-election.
It’s a must to look laborious to search out any signal of Chadema’s trademark blue and white colors, both on the streets or on the airwaves.
The opposition get together has complained that new taxes have made it considerably costlier to supply electoral supplies, and that the media panorama is biased in opposition to it. Regardless of these challenges, Lissu can pull a crowd: Chadema rallies are simply as full as these for the ruling get together.
And on social media, the place — regardless of its finest efforts — the federal government has much less management, it’s clear that the opposition enjoys important widespread help.
Working in Chadema’s favour is a casual deal it has struck with the third-biggest get together within the nation, ACT-Wazalendo, led by Zitto Kabwe. ACT-Wazalendo is asking its supporters to vote for Lissu; in alternate, Chadema has endorsed ACT-Wazalendo’s candidate to guide in Zanzibar (the island is a semi-autonomous area with the Tanzanian federation).
The query now’s whether or not this united opposition entrance will likely be sufficient to unseat a sitting president who’s expertly exploiting all some great benefits of incumbency.