China declares support for Guinea president amidst election controversy
- The west African nation of Guinea's President, Alpha Condé seeks a third term after a change to the Guinean constitution.
- China has congratulated the president, showing their support for him on his reelection.
China has offered to back Alpha Condé, Guinea’s president on his re-election on Monday. The news comes as the nation’s president is embroiled in controversy due to concerns around election fraud last month.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated: “China and Guinea are good friends… We value our tradition of friendship and stand ready to work with the Guinean side to further advance our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to achieve benefits to our two peoples.”
Alpha Condé was elected president in 2010.
A 2017 poll from Afrobarometer showed that 82 per cent of Guineans were in favour of a two-term limit for presidents.
Despite this, Alpha Condé, who turned 82 in March, proposed a new constitution allowing presidents two renewable six-year terms. There was little room made for public review or comment on the constitution and Condé, has effectively reset his term-count to zero as the new constitution isn’t retroactive. This means he could possibly see a further term after the current one, totalling four terms in power.
Scores of Guineans have complained about the election, with some calling for a general strike in protest of the results.
Wang Wenbin isn’t the only Chinese official to publicly support Condé,’s re-election. Wu Peng, Director-General of the Department of African Affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed congratulations online – and was met with pushback.
Notably, no such message has been sent to US projected president-elect, Joe Biden. In comparison, when Donald Trump was elected back in 2016 Xi Jinping sent congratulations the day after the election on November 9th.
Wang Wenbin said in a statement to CNN: “We understand that the outcome of the general election will be determined in accordance with the laws and procedures of the United States,”. Continuing, he stated, “We will handle the issue of the statement (of congratulations) in accordance with international practice”.
While much international attention has been centred on the US elections, three African nations – Tanzania, Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea – have also held elections recently.