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CrisisWatch Guinea

Unchanged Situation

Despite crackdown, protests continued against President Condé’s intention to change constitution allegedly so that he can run for third term in 2020. Following calls by National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups against constitutional change, protesters rallied 6, 10, 12 and 15 Dec in capital Conakry and other cities. During funeral procession in Conakry 6 Dec for eight protesters killed in recent confrontations with authorities, protesters again clashed with security forces, reportedly leaving another protester dead. Condé 19 Dec announced new draft constitution, said he would hold referendum to seek voters’ approval. Opposition 20 Dec accused president of staging “constitutional coup”. Nationwide protests against constitutional referendum scheduled for 26 Dec postponed to 6 Jan. Ahead of legislative elections set for 16 Feb, opposition criticised as biased voter registration process and revision of electoral roll that started late Nov. Cellou Dalein Diallo, leader of largest opposition party Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, 1 Dec accused electoral commission of preventing opposition supporters from registering. Opposition 5 Dec said electoral commission was enrolling minors in strongholds of ruling party Rally for the Guinean People. Political dialogue led by PM’s adviser Laho Bangoura resumed 5 Dec, but opposition pulled out 13 Dec to protest alleged malpractice in voter registration. Electoral commission 16 Dec said registration was complete. Opposition 23 Dec vowed to boycott legislative elections and prevent them from taking place.

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Briefing / Africa

Guinea’s Other Emergency: Organising Elections

Guinea approaches the second free presidential election in its history under difficult circumstances. Unless the government convenes a serious dialogue with the opposition, it risks electoral violence and exacerbating ethnic divisions.

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