Alpha Condé born 4 March 1938 is a Guinean politician who has been President of Guinea since December 2010. He spent decades in opposition to a succession of regimes in Guinea, unsuccessfully running against President Lansana Conté in the 1993 and 1998 presidential elections and leading the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), an opposition party. Standing again in the 2010 presidential election, Condé was elected as President of Guinea in a second round of voting. When he took office that December, he became the first freely elected president in the country's history. Condé was reelected in 2015 with almost 58% of the vote.
Background and personal life
Condé was born on 4 March 1938 in Boké in Lower Guinea. His parents were from Baro, a small town in Kouroussa Prefecture in the Kankan Region of Upper Guinea. Condé is married to Djene Kaba Condé. Condé has one son, Alpha Mohamed Condé.
Condé left for France at the age of 15. He was active in parallel within the National Union of Higher Education (SNESUP) and combined the functions of charge within the Association of Guinean students in France (AEGF), and within the Federation of Black African Students in France (FEANF), in which he was the Executive Coordinator of African National Groups (NG) from 1967 to 1975, overseeing the activities of the Directorate of FEANF.
Condé won 19.6% of the vote in Guinea's first multiparty presidential election, held on 19 December 1993. 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. In the 1998 presidential election, Condé ran again and received 16.6% of the vote, placing third behind Conté (56.1%) and Mamadou Boye Bâ (24.6%). On 16 December, two days after the poll, Condé was arrested and charged with trying to leave the country illegally; he was also charged 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 47 co-defendants, was 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.
However, Condé was released in May 2001 when he was pardoned by President Conté, with the condition that he was prohibited from engaging in political activities. Following his release, he 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 held in late 2005, but later stated his intention to boycott them.
Following Conté's death and the 23 December 2008 military coup, Condé met with Moussa Dadis Camara, the President of the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), on 27 December 2008. After the meeting, Condé said that the members of the CNDD junta were "patriots". Later, however, he opposed the junta and was criticised by Camara.
Condé stood again in the June–November 2010 presidential election. During the first round, he received 18% of the votes, while Cellou Dalein Diallo placed first with over 40%. On 15 November 2010 Condé was declared the winner of the second round with 52.5%. He was sworn in on 21 December 2010.
On 17 October 2015, Condé was re-elected to a second term with 57.85% of the vote, winning an outright majority in the first round of voting. Condé was sworn in for his second term on 14 December 2015.