Alliance Guinea, a non-governmental organization for human rights and democracy in Guinea with more than 1500 members around the world, commends the Guinean people's largely peaceful presidential run-off elections on November 7. The vast majority of Guineans chose to support their country with dignity by voting peacefully. Please join this petition if you wish to join us in the promotion of dignity and justice for all in Guinea.
Despite the SMS ban, GV10 Witness will remain operational and able to receive reports via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and directly online at www.gv10witness.org. We will also continue to map media reports and encourage all interested parties to view the many hundreds of messages sent in by citizens during this run-off period. Our system continues to show that citizens are witnessing, the people are reporting, and humanity is watching from the four corners of the world to the smallest village of Guinea so that a new day may come for Guineans.
Alliance Guinea is not itself an election monitoring organization and it has not been our mission to make generalized statements about the overall legitimacy of the electoral process. Instead, we aim to provide a tool for citizens, election monitors, human rights defenders, and journalists to increase the transparency of the democratic exercise and this transition period. Since the eve of the runoff elections, the GV10Witness system has received over 5000 SMS messages, including over a thousand throughout the day of the vote. These included reports of logistical challenges and confusion around voting modalities, some allegations of voting irregularities and tension between party supporters, but also cases where polling went smoothly and where voter turnout was high and participation peaceful. These messages, including both those generated by ordinary citizens and by domestic observers with the National Council of Civil Society Organizations in Guinea, were generally unconfirmed but were submitted in real-time. While they in no way represent a scientific sample of the integrity of the voting process, the ensemble of the reports that Alliance Guinea received do not contradict the conclusions that international observer groups such as the Carter Center and European Union have issued expressing the lack of evidence on the whole of systemic electoral fraud. At the same time, Alliance Guinea supports the right of all candidates, citizens and civil society groups to make formal complaints of fraud and pursue the legal options open to them under the Constitution of Guinea. All Guineans need these efforts to be seen through to their legal end in order to objectively and transparently conclude the electoral process. Alliance Guinea encourages all the parties that took part in the elections and the tabulation of results to cooperate with investigation efforts.
Alliance Guinea deplores the outbreak of violence in the wake of the provisional election result announcements, both between citizens and also the cases of disproportionate response of the armed forces and evidence of serious human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings, including targeting of certain ethnic groups. These recent aggressions in Guinea, and particularly the ethnic-based violence, do not reflect the historic ability of the country’s citizens to co-exist peacefully for the good of the country. We wish to remind everyone of the repeated statements made by both presidential run-off candidates that “we are one Guinea” and of the commitments each candidate signed to avoid violence and reprisals. Alliance Guinea calls on the current government and General Sekouba Konate in particular to increase efforts to maintain peace and order. It must do this while respecting the universal human rights of all citizens regardless of political persuasion or ethnicity, and to discipline the members of the armed forces who have abused these rights and otherwise engaged in disproportionately violent behavior.
Democracy does not begin and end with a single election. Guinea’s next president will have the responsibility of helping to build democratic and well-governed institutions that have the capacity and integrity to do the people’s work: using Guinea’s vast natural and human resources to promote the sustainable development of the country. The president will also be responsible for assuring that free and fair legislative elections are held in 6 months’ time, and new presidential elections in another five years.
The GV10Witness citizen monitoring system has remained online following Election Day and in the wake of the provisional result announcements. It is our intention that this system continue to act as a deterrent to people who seek to unravel the social fabric of Guinea and as a way of recognizing those citizens and officials who step in to prevent hatred and violence.
We call on all citizens, groups and parties of Guinea; the Guinean diaspora; the international community; and all friends of Guinea to remain highly vigilant in the promotion of democracy, justice, and peace in the Republic of Guinea during the end of this transition to civilian rule and as the work of governing begins. As Guineans of all ethnicities and friends of Guinea ourselves, we issue a particular call to our friends and family to resist political forces that would have us turn against each other. And for all those who share our values, we ask that you speak out for both peace and a just resolution of the cases of human rights abuses witnessed both before and after the elections. This will be a long-term process, and we must go forward together to ensure the peaceful and just transition of Guinea to lasting democracy.