Print this article   Email this to a friend


The challenges of democracy: Guinea’s parliamentary elections

11 October 2013

On 28 September 2013 Guinea held for the first time elections for a new parliament in democracy. Having endured more than 50 years of autocratic rulers since achieving independence in 1958, the country swore in its first democratically elected President, Alpha Condé, in December 2010.

There was, unsurprisingly, a high level of expectation from such a significant electoral process. These elections were originally foreseen to take place six months after the new democratic government took office. However, this timeframe proved to be too short to secure the necessary agreements, including all the political forces, for the carrying out of these elections, which were eventually reached earlier this year.

The voting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which included representatives of all the major parties in the country, was, despite reports of some technical or organisational difficulties, peaceful, open, and drew wide citizen participation, accomplishing a crucial step forward in this process.

In a country of approximately 11.5 million people, still without adequate infrastructure, communications systems and proper roads, and in an election where citizens had a choice of close to 2000 candidates for 114 parliamentary seats with 36 lists of candidates registered, the logistical challenges of Guinea’s parliamentary elections have no doubt been immense.

Until now, the Republic of Guinea has not had the chance to build on the experience of a democratic parliamentary tradition, something which had been denied to the nation’s citizens by successive authoritarian regimes. This has been reflected both in the difficult and drawn-out negotiations to prepare the elections and in the atmosphere of mistrust among political actors as the country awaits the results.

Clearly, any institutional democratic political framework must be built through experience. The time lapse in the announcement of the election results, for instance, demonstrates that the ten-day period within which the Supreme Court must sanction the results, has also proven too short.

These issues, and other alleged problems and shortcomings that have since been voiced, should not be used as a pretext to disqualify the elections. Today in Guinea, like in any other democracy in the world, the proper legal channels exist to hear any allegation in an electoral process, to check that the correct procedures have been followed, and that any complaint held, according to the law in Guinea, should be submitted to the Supreme Court, which is the only legal body to sanction the final result.

Democracy needs to be nurtured daily and it is only by recognising and following the rules and norms of democracy and the law that the necessary legitimacy of the new democratic institutions of the country can be established.

All individuals, groups and political parties have an obligation to contribute to the upholding of this path in this crucial moment for Guinea. Throughout the world we can see that it is only with real and true democratic governance that countries can manage to move forward. This young democracy must develop and learn from its own experiences to secure not only the newly gained freedoms and rights of all the Guinean citizens, but the country’s stability, economic development and the wellbeing of its people.

That these elections have taken place considering the daunting myriad of political and logistical challenges faced by a fledgling democracy in a developing country, is thanks to the efforts of its citizens, the different political actors in Guinea, and of President Alpha Condé, whose political engagement, as his life has shown, having suffered imprisonment, exile and persecution, has only ever been associated with the permanent search for democratic freedoms and rights in his country.

Now, a new concerted effort needs to be made by the CENI and all other relevant officials to complete the process to arrive at final public results, and to include in its report to the Supreme Court, those cases which require its attention or further clarification.

The Socialist International will continue to remain committed and engaged in support of this new democratic Guinea.



Socialist International


Meeting of the SI Africa Committee
Luanda, Angola
12-13 December 2017


Resolutions and Decisions of the XXV SI Congress

Report to the XXV SI Congress


Press coverage


SI in the News





Member parties in government

List of SI member parties in government 


Member Party Congresses




Finances of the InternationAl

Budget and accounts




Presidential and parliamentary,

Second round
17 December 2017


Report of the Secretary General

Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress


International Women's Day 2016

Planet 50-50 by 2030:
Step It Up for Gender Equality


In support of democracy in Uganda

22 FEBRUARY 2016

In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...


SI Solidarity with the Pakistani people

28 March 2016

The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they come to terms with the horrendous terrorist attack carried out yesterday near Lahore. Over 70 people lost their lives as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in the park, including numerous women and children, and over 300 were injured. We strongly denounce this violent act, as we have other such terrorist attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased and our sympathy is with all those injured and suffering as a result... 


SI denounces ruling against amnesty and reconciliation law in Venezuela

12 April 2016

The Socialist International denounces the grave disregard of the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and the usurpation of powers by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of the country, which yesterday declared as unconstitutional the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law that had been approved by a majority in the National Assembly on 29 March this year. The resounding electoral victory in the elections to the National Assembly at the beginning of December 2015 was based on a clear proposal...

CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea

SI calls for an immediate end to the confrontation between Azerbaijanis and Armenians

04 APRIL 2016

The Socialist International has followed with great concern the hostilities and attacks that have taken place in the last 48 hours between Armenians and Azerbaijanis with a regrettable loss of numerous lives. Our International calls for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to these hostilities, and at the same time reiterates the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Group, a body accepted by both Armenia and Azerbaijan and recognised by the multilateral organisations, to resolve through negotiation and in accordance with the principles of international law...


SI condemns terrorist attack in Nice and stands together with France

15 JULY 2015

The Socialist International vigorously condemns the despicable terrorist attack carried out last night during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice that took the lives of at least 84 men, women and children, and left scores seriously injured. This horrific attack continues the path of successive acts of terrorism against innocent people in France and in other countries across the world, as extremists seek to generate a climate of fear and undermine democracy and the rights and freedoms people everywhere have fought to achieve.....


SI condemns coup attempt and supports democracy in Turkey

16 JULY 2016

The Socialist International condemns the attempt by military forces in Turkey last night and in the early hours of this morning, to bring down the legitimately elected government of the country. Our organisation wholeheartedly shares and fully supports the clear and unequivocal statements made by the leaders of the CHP and the HDP, members of our global political family, as the coup attempt unfolds. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP, said that the country had suffered previous coups and these developments should never be repeated in Turkey, adding that his party fully depends on the free will of the people, indispensable to Turkey’s parliamentary democracy…