The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompey raised concerns over Guinea`s plans to have legislative elections and a constitutional referendum. Guinea`s President, Alpha Conde, in a statement, stated that on March 1, a two-way vote for legislative elections and a referendum would be held. Citizens of Guinea are, however, displeased with this move by the president. The locals realized that the tactic aimed at enabling him to run for a third term in office.
In 2010 Mr. Conde, the leader of the Rassemblement du Peuple Guinean (RPG) party, won the first-ever democratic elections since Guinea`s independence. Citizens of Guinea re-elected Mr. Conde in 2015. During the re-election, he garnered 58 percent majority against a former Prime Minister Cellou Diallo and his party Union des Forces Democratiques de Guinee (UFDG), which garnered only 32 percent.
The US raises concerns
During Mr. Conde`s last five-year term, attempts to keep him in power have been a recurring theme in the past recent months. These moves have caused unease by the local populations, and the US has raised concerns over these controversial changes. The Department of State, in a statement issued, said the US questions whether the process would be transparent, free and fair and accurately reflect the will of eligible voters.
Under Guinea’s current constitution, a president can serve two-five-year terms only. After serving the two terms limit as president, a candidate can no longer contest the presidential race in afresh election. Mr. Conde and his administration seek to scrape the current presidential limit. If striking the term limit from the constitution either by consent of two-thirds of parliament or by a referendum, Mr. Conde could remain president for life.
Leaders and their evil intentions
Guinea`s second president, Mr. Lansana Conte, ruled until his death in 2008. Mr. Conte became president after overthrowing Prime Minister Louis Lansana Bravogui. Like the current president of Guinea today, Mr. Lansana Conte desired to extend his presidential term. President Lansana succeeded in his attempts, and he ruled till his death. Mr. Lansana`s success was not, however, very quickly welcomed by opposition figures at the time.
One of these long-standing opposition figures was the current president of Guinea himself, Mr. Alpha Conde. Mr. Conde, at one time, got jailed and exiled for his criticism of president Conte`s military government and his extension of his presidential term. It has, however, become clear that president Alpha Conde`s intentions were also to take control and full power of Guinea while enriching himself in the process.
To prevent history from repeating itself, Mr. Diallo, UFDG`s party leader, and the leader of the coalition of opposition groups moved to challenge the proposed legislation. The continuous and intense opposition pressure against president Conde`s moves has borne no fruits yet, however. Protesters drenched the streets of Guinea since mid-October last year. At the same time, they shouted chants objecting to the plans of the long-standing president. Security Forces killed at least 102 demonstrators in protests since mid-October.
The US cautions against forceful repression
In a demonstration held on Monday 3rd, February opposition leader Cellou Diallo told reporters that Security Forces shot dead four people and wounded at least 38 individuals. Moreover, security forces in the capital on Monday fired tear gas and live bullets at protesters. Protesters ransacked military posts, threw stones and blocked roads with burning tires on the outskirts of the capital, Conakry. The United States cautioned against the repression of opposing voices.