Guinea - Political background

The Constitution of the People's Republic of Guinea was established in May 1982, suspended by the Military Committee for National Recovery (CMRN) following a coup in 1984, rewritten by a presidential task force in the late 1980s, and passed in a national referendum in December 1990. Guinea held its first multiparty presidential elections in December 1993, and its first multiparty parliamentary contest in June 1995. Until then, Conté's Transitional Council for National Recovery (CTRN) wrote the organic laws. Despite the existence of the National Assembly, the Constitution gives disproportionate powers to the president, who rules by decree. The president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, appoints judges, cabinet ministers, governors, prefects, and other mid- to senior-level officials in the public bureaucracy. While republican institutions exist, the state controls Guinea's broadcast media, and the separation of powers is theoretical. The opposition repeatedly has objected to the conduct of elections and disputed their outcomes, which Conté insists have been free and fair. With no effective system of checks and balances, Guinea continues to experience poor governance.

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