Tags: Guinea | Politics

Guinea Opposition Decries Referendum Announced by President

Friday, 20 December 2019 08:39 AM

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) β€” Guinean President Alpha Conde is moving forward with plans to hold a constitutional referendum ahead of elections set for 2020, prompting fears from his opponents that he will attempt to prolong his rule in this West African country with a long history of dictatorships and coups.

Conde became the country's first democratically elected leader since independence from France in 1958 when he won the 2010 vote. His second and final mandate is due to end a year from now, but already tensions over his future plans have led to protests in which at least 24 people died in clashes with security forces.

In a televised address late Thursday, Conde indicated he would go ahead with holding the referendum on a new constitution.

"President Alpha Conde wants to plunge Guinea into chaos," opposition leader Bah Oury said Friday after the late night address by the president. β€œHe doesn't want to go when his second term finishes. But he will go β€” this new constitution will not pass.”

Mineral-rich Guinea suffered through decades of dictatorship under late strongman Lansana Conte. His death 11 years ago ushered in chaos, including the brief and violent reign of coup leader Dadis Camara. After Camara survived an assassination attempt he went into exile, paving the way for elections.

Alpha Conde emerged as the victor of the first democratic elections in 2010. He was re-elected in 2015. No date was announced for the referendum, though Conde's term expires in December 2020.

Human rights groups have criticized the Conde administration for banning a number of public demonstrations. Opposition leaders this year also have been sentenced to jail time on charges of insurrection and disturbing the public peace.

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Guinean President Alpha Conde is moving forward with plans to hold a constitutional referendum ahead of elections set for 2020, prompting fears from his opponents that he will attempt to prolong his rule in this West African country with a long history of dictatorships and...
Guinea,Politics
281
2019-39-20
Friday, 20 December 2019 08:39 AM
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