webGuinea
History-Politics


Ruth S. Morgenthau
Political parties in French-speaking West Africa

Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964.


Part Six
Trade Unionists and Chiefs in Guinea
The 1954 Election continued


'In the same way a man is not a pack horse. The chief must know as we all know. Man chooses liberty. The chief must accept or the chief will lose." 1

Through Sayfoulaye, whose family opposed his election and backed Diawadou, the PDG pointed out that not ethnic ties but only the family of the like-minded really counted.
During the 1956 campaign PDG militants concentrated their voluntary efforts. The youth wing of the party, the JRDA of Conakry, organized dances and other socials to raise funds. Since most of the electioneering came during Christmas vacation teachers in the party had time off. Many other civil servants took vacations without pay to work for the party. Traders and transporters put their cars at the disposal of the PDG. In villages and towns local party representatives fed, housed, and gave gas and oil to a stream of political visitors. It is impossible to estimate the cash value of these gifts in kind.
Since Conakry solidly favoured the PDG, and so did the Beyla area, the party leaders did no formal campaigning there. They asked the militants of Conakry to go to their villages and organize there. They asked the women of Conakry who had been among the most ardent supporters of the party to organize the coastal areas, and they asked the men from the coast to campaign in the Fouta Djallon.
The party leaders wanted to guard against a repetition of the Ivory Coast incidents. They stipulated that never one but at least two party leaders had to be involved in negotiations with French officials. They urged 'vigilance' against 'saboteurs', for they feared unwanted incidents. The vigilance at times passed out of the control of the party leaders, and popular fears of plots against the PDG were recorded in song.


1. Information based in interviews.


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