A military junta, led by then-Lt. Col. Lansana Conte and styling itself the Military Committee of National Recovery (CMRN), took control of Guinea in April 1984, shortly after the death of independent Guinea's first president, Sékou Touré. With Conte as president, the CMRN set about dismantling Touré's oppressive regime, abolishing the authoritarian constitution, dissolving the sole political party and its mass youth and women's organizations, and announcing the establishment of the Second Republic. The new government also released all political prisoners and committed itself to the protection of human rights. The CMRN also reorganized the judicial system, decentralized the administration, and began to liberalize the economy, promote private enterprise, and encourage foreign investment in order to reverse the steady economic decline under Touré's rule by developing the country's natural resources.
In 1990, Guineans approved by referendum a new constitution that inaugurated the Third Republic, and a Supreme Court was established. In 1991, the CMRN was replaced by a mixed military and civilian body, the Transitional Council for National Recovery (CTRN), with Conte as president and a mandate to manage a 5-year transition to full civilian rule. The CTRN drafted "organic" laws to create republican institutions and to provide for independent political parties, national elections, and freedom of the press. Political party activity was legalized in 1992, when more than 40 political parties were officially recognized.
In December 1993, Conté was elected to a 5-year term as president in the country's first multi-party elections, which were marred by irregularities and lack of transparency on the part of the government. In 1995, Conte's ruling PUP party won 76 of 114 seats in elections for the National Assembly amid opposition claims of irregularities and government tampering. In 1996, President Conté reorganized the government, appointing Sidya Touré to the revived post of Prime Minister and charging him with special responsibility for leading the government's economic reform program.
Guinea's second presidential election, scheduled for December 1998, will be a crucial test of the country's commitment to fulfilling its transition to democracy.
conventional long form: Republic of Guinea
conventional short form: Guinea
local long form: Republique de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
former: French Guinea
Data code: GV
Government type: republic
Administrative divisions: 4 administrative regions (regions administrative, singular - region administrative) and 1 special zone (zone speciale)*; Conakry*, Guinee, Guinee-Forestiere, Haute-Guinee, Moyen-Guinee
Independence: 2 October 1958 (from France)
National holiday: Anniversary of the Second Republic, 3 April (1984)
Constitution: 23 December 1990 (Loi Fundamentale)
Legal system: based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; legal codes currently being revised; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Lansana Conte (head of military government since 5 April 1984, elected president 19 December 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Lamine Sidime (since 8 March 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president; election last held 14 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2003); the prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Lansana Conte reelected president; percent of vote - Lansana Conte (PUP) 56.1%, Mamadou Boye BA (UNR-PRP) 24.6%, Alpha Conde (RPG) 16.6%,
unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 11 June 1995 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PUP 71, RPG 19, PRP 9, UNR 9, UPG 2, PDG 1, UNPG 1, PDG-RDA 1, other 1
Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Guinea or PDG-AST [Marcel CROS]; Democratic Party of Guinea-African Democratic Rally or PDG-RDA [El Hadj Ismael Mohamed Gassim Gushein]; Party for Unity and Progress or PUP [Lansana CONTE] - the governing party; Party for Renewal and Progress or PRP [Siradiou DIALLO]; Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]; Union for Progress of Guinea or UPG [Jean-Marie DORE, secretary-general]; Union for the New Republic or UNR [Mamadou Boye BA]
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MINURSO, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Flag description: three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Rwanda, which has a large black letter R centered in the yellow band