Tomorrow June 26th is national reconciliation day in Guinea. For the first time in over half a century the Guinean people will democratically elect their leader without the interference of the army.
In ‘58 Ahmed Sekou Toure became the country’s leader. He practiced torture and violence against his opponents and was known for widespread corruption in a country where, despite huge natural resources, over ten million people can afford only one meal a day. The distribution of wealth is completely imbalanced.
Toure’s practices were continued by his predecessor Lansana Conte; the exiled Captain Moussa Dadis Camara had not enough time to tread that ruinous path before he was shot in the head by his own, and flown out of the country for medical treatment.
However, Guinea’s current leader, General Sekouba Konate, has promised not to interfere in the next election. No members of the army will stand in the elections, and the 24 candidates that are standing have promised to continue the reconciliation process. Should Guinea maintain political stability it would go a long way in helping the country recover from years of bad governance.
Areas such has healthcare would benefit dramatically, especially since a lack of humanitarian funding has led to the proliferation of diseases in children such as measles, tetanus and polio, which are all preventable.
Both the Guineans themselves and the international community are expecting to witness a free, democratic election that doesn’t allow issues of ethnicity or religion to stand in the way of progress and development.