Guinea is a unified state, presidential and formally democratic republic. In fact, since independence from France in 1958, Guinea has been authoritatively ruled, until 1984 during the left-wing and Soviet-friendly Sekou Touré, since under the more right-wing general Lansana Conté. Conté came to power in a military coup just after his predecessor’s death, but in 1993 he was elected president by universal suffrage. The constitution is from 1991 and last changed in 2001. The president is elected for a term of seven (previously five) years. The National Assembly consists of 114 members elected for a term of five years; 1/3 seated selected from man circuits residue by proportional representation on party lists. The voting age is 18 years.
During Touré, only his Democratic Party was allowed. In 1984 the party was dissolved, and parties were again only allowed in 1992. President Conté’s party has obtained a pure majority in the parliamentary elections, and the opposition has boycotted the elections. During the first free presidential elections in 1993, several parties nominated candidates.
The president is the leader of the executive power and has dominated politics. However, the state government is characterized by instability, which is due to several factors: ethnic, personal, military, factional strikes among many public servants, tensions due to unrest in neighboring states and refugee flows from there and a poorly developed and vulnerable economy.
Administratively, Guinea is divided into four regions, under these in 33 prefectures plus the metropolitan area, and in municipalities.
The judiciary is characterized by French, Islamic and African law. It is under reorganization with foreign aid and, according to the Constitution, must be independent.