Lansana Conté (born 1934) has been the President of Guinea-Conakry since 3 April 1984. He is a Muslim and a member of the Susu ethnic group.
Government of Guinea
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Lansana Conte seized power in a bloodless coup in 1984 and has ruled with an iron fist ever since.There is no clear successor to the septuagenarian president.
A diabetic and a chain smoker, he rarely makes public appearances. There is no obvious successor to the ailing leader, who in early 2007 faced violent protests and a general strike against his rule.
Mr Conte, from the minority Soussou ethnic group, says he was born in the 1930s. After serving in the French army he returned home and became chief of staff in 1975. He seized power after President Sekou Toure's death in 1984, suspended the constitution, freed political prisoners and encouraged exiles to return.
By 1992 he had organised a return to civilian rule, proceeding to win a presidential poll in 1993 and parliamentary elections in 1995. In 2003 he won a third term in a poll which was boycotted by the opposition.
Voters in a referendum had backed the removal of a two-term limit which would have forced him to retire. His opponents said the move was a constitutional coup which would ensure that he remained president for life.
Critics say he has lost popularity and has become increasingly isolated. Supporters say he has won a war against dissidents.
(Information found at bbc.co.uk)
(At a Glance)
Place of Origin: Guinea