20 February 2018

Guinea Conakry - Ruling Party Leads in Local Government Polls

The opposition also put a good showing in several councils in the vote held two weeks ago.

After more than two weeks of wait, results of Guinea Conakry's local government polls that held earlier this month are out. In most councils whose results have so far been officially announced, the ruling "Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée" RPG party, maintained a commanding lead; especially in Upper Guinea, the party's stronghold, and the forest area, Radio France International reported on February 19, 2018.

On the other hand, the leading opposition party, "Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée" UFDG, recorded a landslide victory in Labé area in the centre of the country. However, the situation was quite different in the coastal area where "Union des forces républicaines" UFR, which came third in the vote, took most of the council positions.

In the capital, Conakry, tension is still rife between supporters of different political parties. In two of the five councils - Dixinn and Matoto - whose results have been released, RPG and UFDG are at par.

Though most of the election petitions filed by the opposition were rejected, leaders have not stopped complaining about alleged fraud in some polling stations. According to some diplomatic sources, between 300 and 400 polling returns might have gone missing in the capital, Conakry.

Following the elections on February 4, 2018, seven people were killed - including five young children - in violence linked to fraud allegations.

The vote was the first of its kind since the end of the era of military dictatorship, and followed eight years of delays blamed on a lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis.

More than 5.9 million Guineans were registered to vote in the polls, choosing members for 342 councils from 1,300 party lists. There were about 30,000 candidates, including almost 7,000 women.

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