Alpha Condé

Alpha Condé

Alpha Condé is a Guinean politician and president of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), the country's main opposition political party. He from the Mandinka ethnic group.

Condé won 19.6% of the vote in the 19 December, 1993 presidential elections, Guinea's first multiparty elections. Lansana Conté, who had been president since a bloodless 1984 "coup d'etat", won that election with 51.7% of the vote. Condé's supporters alleged fraud in this election after the Supreme Court nullified results in the Kankan and Siguiri prefectures, where Condé had received more than 90% of the vote.Englebert, Pierre. (2006) Guinea: recent history. In "Africa south of the Sahara 2006", 35th ed. London: Routledge.]

In the 1998 elections, Condé ran again, and received 16.6% of the vote, giving him a third-place finish behind Conté (56.1%) and Mamadou Boye Bâ (24.6%). On 16 December, two days after the poll, however, Condé was arrested and charged with trying to leave the country illegally, and with attempting to recruit forces to destabilize the government.

Controversy during his detention focused on whether he could be represented by foreign as well as domestic lawyers, and whether defense lawyers were being given full access to him in jail. Condé's trial, initially scheduled to begin in September 1999, did not begin until April 2000. Condé, along with forty-seven co-defendants, were charged with hiring mercenaries, planning to assassinate President Conté, and upsetting the state's security. Defense lawyers began by calling for the judge to immediately release their clients, then quit, saying that under the circumstances they could not properly make a defense. The trial was thus delayed several times, during which time Condé refused to speak in court, and his co-defendants denied all of the charges. The trial finally continued in August, and in mid-September Condé was sentenced to jail for five years.

He was released, however, in May 2001 after being pardoned by President Conté, with the condition that he be prohibited from political activities. After his release Condé left Guinea for France, returning in July 2005. Upon his return some reports indicated that he intended to organize the RPG for the municipal elections in late 2005, [ [ "Opposition leader returns as food tensions mount"] , IRIN, July 4, 2005.] but he later stated his intention to boycott them. [ [ "Opposition split over whether to take part in municipal elections"] , IRIN, July 20, 2005.]


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