State and politics
Since independence in 1964, Guinea has had a fragile
democracy with authoritarian leaders. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how GV can stand for Guinea.
Guinea's constitution was drafted in 2010 by the National
Transitional Council, which, following the military coup
that followed Lasana Conté's death in 2008, served as a
legislative body, and was approved by decree by the
transitional government's leader, Sékouba Konaté. The
executive power belongs to the president, who is elected in
general elections for five years and can be re-elected once.
The President appoints the Prime Minister and approves his
proposal to Ministers. Legislative power comes to a
single-chamber parliament with 114 seats, which is elected
by universal suffrage. One third of the members are elected
in one-man constituencies, the rest from national lists to
ensure an even regional representation. Parliament's term of
office is five years.
Lansana Conté won in the 1993, 1998 and 2003 presidential
elections and his Party de l'Unité et du Progrès
(PUP) gained a major majority in the 1995 and 2002
parliamentary elections. A divided and repressed opposition
and questionable electoral arrangements paved the regime's
continued holding of power.
Conté died in December 2008 after a long illness, during
which Guinea was increasingly characterized by power
struggles and unrest. The day after his death, a group of
soldiers seized power and appointed a civilian-led
Under pressure from the outside world, and since junta
leader Moussa Dadis Camara was shot dead in an assassination
attempt, the military junta in 2010 agreed to allow a
unifying government to prepare for the return to civilian
rule. The 2010 presidential election was colored by severe
unrest with ethnic undertones. Alpha Condé was declared a
winner, but only after continuing turmoil that claimed the
lives of many people, Cellou Dalein Diallo acknowledged
The parliamentary elections, which really should have
been held in 2011, could finally be held in 2013. The
contradictions between Condé's party Rassemblement du
peuple de Guinée (RPG) and the opposition continued
fierce and violent protests with deadly outbreaks erupted
both before and after the election. The delayed results
showed that the RGP received 53 of 114 seats against 37 for
the Diallos Union des forces democratique de Guinée
(UFDG) and 10 for the Union des forces republicaines
(UFR), led by Sidya Touré. The opposition accused the RPG of
electoral fraud and received some support from international
election observers, but the election result was approved by
the Supreme Court.
Diallo was Condé's toughest opponent even in the 2015
presidential election. The election was preceded earlier
this year by government-critical demonstrations that were
defeated by force. Violence also erupted during the October
election month, which in many cases resulted in a fatal
outcome. The election results showed that Condé received 58
percent of the vote against Diallo's 31 percent. The latter
dismissed the result and accused the regime of electoral
fraud, but the election was approved by international
observers, although some practical problems were pointed
When Guinea became independent in 1958, it maintained
ties with the previously applicable legal system, consisting
of both French law and domestic customary law. The Supreme
Court is a court of Cassation. The death penalty can be
punished for some serious crimes.
In the 2010s, Guinea took its first steps towards
democracy since the country's independence in 1958. The
transition came on several occasions to be bordered by
popular protests that degenerated into violent clashes
between the protesters and security forces.
Assault and unprofessional behavior by security forces
were often reported in connection with the demonstrations.
Civilian deaths occurred. Subsequent stricter rules have led
to a reduction in the use of force by the authorities in
connection with political demonstrations.
Along with arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, as well as
a weak legal system, violence against protesters and
oppositionists continues to be one of the country's most
serious human rights problems. Despite the government's
ambition to hold former perpetrators accountable for abuse,
decades of a weakened judicial system have led to extensive
Media freedom is also imperfect and the government owns
and controls virtually all media. In 2013, attacks against
press freedom increased, and the negative trend can be noted
in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index for 2015,
where the country has collapsed 16 investments since then.
There are reports of direct physical attacks, harassment and
threats against journalists by state and military officials.
For women and children, the situation is similar to that
of many other countries in the region: violence and
discrimination against women and girls, including forced
marriage and female genital mutilation, occurs. A domestic
study estimates that 87 percent of all women are subjected
to domestic violence. The survey also estimates that nearly
50 percent of girls and women aged 15-49 have fallen victim
to sexual violence by their regular sex partner. Due to
social stigma, the abuse is rarely reported.
Heads of State
||Moussa Dadis Camara
||Sékouba Konaté (tf)