Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Guinea: ‘Chaos erupts’ over referendum despite coronavirus outbreak

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Opposition supporters in Guinea clashed with security forces on Sunday in an attempt to disrupt a controversial referendum and legislative elections.

The supporters attacked several polling stations in the capital Conakry but that was only able to delay the start of voting in some districts.

The unrest was however brought under control by the security forces with no report of significant casualties just yet.

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde refused to call of the controversial referendum on Sunday that could allow him to stay longer in power.

He defied the coronavirus pandemic to hold the referendum and local level elections.

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Guinea has already confirmed coronavirus cases with fears the outbreak could increase should people gather for the election.

Almost 5 million registered voters are participating in the vote with civil society groups earlier calling for a postponement after the pandemic.

Last month Guinea’s President Alpha Conde called off the parliamentary election and constitutional referendum as concerns grew over the credibility of the electoral roll for the process.

President Conde said he had postponed the process over to seek clarity on claims of the inclusion of two million suspected FAKE voters on the electoral list.

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President Alpha Conde has come under intense pressure since last year when reports emerged that he could seek a third term in office.

The referendum intends changing the country’s constitutional to possibly prolong Conde’s stay in power.

The opposition has opposed the intended referendum, triggering several protests that have ended deadly in some instances.

Alpha Conde is 81 years of age and is due to end his second and final five-year term next year.

He became Guinea’s first democratically-elected leader in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.

But he has not ruled out running again. Conde has however asked his government to look into drafting a new constitution.

He has said that there was the need to overhaul the constitution to take address pressing social issues, such as banning female genital mutilation.

 

 

Source: Africafeeds.com

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