Special forces in the African nation of Guinea have arrested President Alpha Conde on election fraud charges, reports say.
Conde’s center-left Guinean People’s Assembly party, the official Guinean sister party of the U.S. Democrat Party, was accused by opposition leaders of engaging in massive election fraud in the October 2020 presidential election.
“We reject the results proclaimed by the [election commission] and continue the demonstrations to protest against the ongoing hold-up. In this fight, let’s avoid following President Conde in the ethnicization of the conflict which is only political,” said opposition figure Cellou Dalein Diallo. “Law and victory are on our side!”
The 83-year-old dictator was seen in a video last week being held by soldiers hours after heavy gunfire was heard at the Presidential Palace in the nation's capital, Conakry.
Opponents say that Conde had used force to disperse crowds of anyone who questioned the election results, and had detained some protesters.
Following the rigged election, Conde received strong support from communist China. Guinea is a key exporter of iron ore and bauxite to China, which are critical for the manufacturing of steel and aluminum.
According to a report by The Guardian, in his private presidential office Conde kept a photo of himself with former U.S. President Barack Obama alongside a bust of China’s Chairman Mao Zedong.
The head of the Guinean special forces and the leader of the effort to overthrow Conde, Col. Mamady Doumbouya, gave a speech to the people of Guinea, condemning the “trampling of citizens’ rights”, “endemic corruption” and the “instrumentalization of justice.” Doumbouya pledged not to “repeat the mistakes of the past.”
This is who just took over in Guinea, detaining the president and freezing the constitution. Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, commander of the country's special forces pic.twitter.com/pMsrJiB3ss— Populism Updates (@PopulismUpdates) September 5, 2021