President Alpha Conde derives support from Guinea's second-largest ethnic group, the Malinke. Guinea's opposition is backed by the Fula ethnic group, also known as Peul, who account for around 40 percent of the population.
The president of Guinea is normally elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president. The president governs Guinea, assisted by a council of 25 civilian ministers appointed by him.
The government administers the country through eight regions, 33 prefectures, over 100 subprefectures, and many districts (known as communes in Conakry and other large cities and villages or "quartiers" in the interior). District-level leaders are elected; the president appoints officials to all other levels of the highly centralized administration.
Since the 2010 Presidential Elections, the head of state has been Alpha Condé.
The National Assembly of Guinea, the country's legislative body, has not met since 2008 when it was dissolved after the military coup in December. Elections have been postponed many times since 2007. In April 2012, President Condé postponed the elections indefinitely, citing the need to ensure that they were "transparent and democratic".