In an interview, the head of UFDG and Guinean Opposition Leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, answered questions from RFI journalist Christophe Boisbouvier.
RFI: After several weeks of demonstrations, the ruling party, the Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG), accuses you of wanting to create anarchy to destabilize the regime of Alpha Condé.
Cellou Dalein Diallo: I think it is the power that wants to create anarchy to the extent that the power has instrumentalized the commissions of centralization of the votes to take victories that it did not have in the polls. We, we hold the polls of polling stations that give the real results from the polls. And the results published by the centralization are in favor of the power and do not reflect the truth of the ballot box. So we have to get back the votes that were stolen and that were transferred to the presidential party.
RFI: The Independent National Electoral Commission, the CENI, claims to have done its best and returned the truth of the polls.
Cellou Dalein Diallo:This is not true at all. We have exhibits. The results at the exit of the ballot boxes were completely transformed at the level of centralization, with the active complicity of the magistrates in charge of supervising the so-called commissions. And when we brought the lawsuits to court, the courts under the influence of intimidation and corruption validated this fraud.
RFI: Is it because your appeals have been rejected that you are trying today to challenge the results on the street?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: Exactly. We challenge the results on the street insofar as we have irrefutable evidence. Magistrates did not have the right to reject PV simply because the opposition was largely in the majority of the polling stations concerned. Magistrates also did not have the right to falsify the results of certain PVs.
RFI: The leader of the ruling RPG party is accusing you of having a hidden agenda to come to power before the 2020 presidential election.
Cellou Dalein Diallo: This is not true. I am preparing 2020. I do not want people, activists, Guinean citizens to think that, even when they have voted, the government can take their vote without being able to defend their vote. This is not possible because, in 2015, with the “One Shot KO”, it was exactly the same. In 2010, you know, in 2013, we can not accept that anymore.
RFI: But concretely, if your lawsuits have been rejected, what do you hope for?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: At one point, we spoke with the president. Alpha Condé said that if we can show evidence that proves that the results from the polls were not reflected in the results, he could find a political solution. He invited the CENI to receive us and to examine as an electoral expert the documents we have. The president of the Ceni made a statement and invited us. We entered this exercise, but after he received contrary instructions and he told us that he can not continue the exercise. So for now, this meeting with the president of the CENI has not given anything? We had met, we had agreed with him. He understood his letter of mission, but it was after some people came to tell the president that it was not good, that it might humiliate the magistrates who helped the presidential party and that, if he did so the magistrates were not going to help the presidential party the next time.
RFI: So today is the impasse?
Cellou Dalein Diallo:Today, this is the impasse because, if these practices continue to flourish, there is no point in going to the elections when the government succeeds in proclaiming the results it wants. Because justice is subservient. And when this is the case, that there is a bankruptcy of institutions, the President of the Republic must take steps to correct them. As the keystone of the institutions, it is he who is responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of all institutions.
RFI: After the local elections, you supported your protest movement on the social crisis. But now that the teachers ‘strike is over, has the momentum of recent weeks not been broken by the resumption of teachers’ work?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: Not at all. It is not for nothing that power tries to prevent our marches. In power, they know that these are marches that are usually followed. We had to walk to be eligible for these local elections. The people sacrificed themselves a lot. No need to remind you that they were supposed to take place in 2011. Mr. Alpha Condé refused to organize them by appointing, in the communities, the zealous militants of his party to spread the propaganda of the presidential party and to organize fraud on the occasion of national elections. It is in the forceps that these local elections were organized. And there, provisions for fraud were also taken. We can not accept that.
RFI: That’s it, the local elections are over, the district leaders have been appointed. Is not your fight now a rearguard fight?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: No, the district chiefs are not appointed, they are not appointed. The communal councils are not yet installed. It is expected that this electoral dispute will be resolved because it was a severe sanction against Mr. Alpha Condé in polling stations and neighborhoods, particularly in Conakry and Lower Guinea where he lost in all municipalities. That’s the challenge too.
RFI: On March 8, 2018, President Alpha Conde promised to listen to all the discontent, to fight much more fiercely against corruption, to make a big government reshuffle. Does not that prove that he is listening to the people?
ICellou Dalein Diallo: t’s not enough. It is not enough to make professions of faith or promises. He has no reputation for honoring his commitments because you know very well that today corruption is a major havoc in the management of public resources. If it is decided to fight against corruption, naturally we will approve. But it is not the change of the government that will solve the problem. It’s himself. Because those who get rich are in his entourage, they are not necessarily members of the government. Those who benefit from over-the-counter markets with indisputable overcharging are people around him, his friends. If you look at the electricity sectors, the public works sector, the World Bank did a study that showed that 91% of public procurement was done by direct agreement, without any competition. So the fight against corruption really requires bold measures, but I do not think I can take them.
RFI: The Constitution forbids Alpha Condé to represent itself in 2020. But many people intend to revise the Constitution. Do you also lend him that intention?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: Yes, I gave him this intention, but I think that the message that was delivered to him during these local elections should dissuade him because it was really a complete failure, especially in the capital where he did not win in any commune. And in Lower Guinea, which he often considered his stronghold, he did not win in any urban commune either, because there, the surveillance was possible, the security worked well. In the polling stations, so he could not.
RFI: Do you mean that, despite the fraud, your party has won a number of victories that will allow it to have enough neighborhood leaders to influence the 2020 presidential election?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: Yes, in Conakry, according to the official results that are rigged, we won 69 advisors for the capital. Alpha Conde has 47. And at the neighborhood level, of course, UFDG will have more than half of the neighborhoods under its control. Now apart from Fouta, which is my stronghold, if I won in Conakry in the local elections, it’s because, yes, there was a change. There are many people who are disappointed with Alpha Condé’s governance and who wanted to punish him by voting for UFDG. That’s what gives me the good score in the capital and in some parts of Lower Guinea, like Kindia, like Boké, like Kamsar, like Dubreka where I won a lot.
RFI: That’s what makes you confident for the 2020 presidential election?
Cellou Dalein Diallo: That’s part of it, that’s not all. But that will not dispense me to go to the conquest of others who are disappointed with Alpha, but who hesitate to come to UFDG. I will go towards them, I will reassure them so that in 2020, I can still win the first round.
RFI: Yes, unless Alpha Condé has not the Constitution amended and presents himself?
YCellou Dalein Diallo: es, it is certain that he maintained a suspicious ambiguity with regard to this third term. Everyone knew he had this intention. Will the results he has had during these local elections dissuade him or will he persist? I know that the Guinean people will not accept.