Movement against Conde’s bid for third term sets date for peaceful protests

Guinea President Alpha Conde waves at supporters on October 8, 2015 during a presidential election campaign in Conakry. Guinea's economy is crumbling after months of mass rallies sparked by fears of President Conte's bid for a third term in office. PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI | AFP
FILE PHOTO: Guinea President Alpha Conde waves at supporters during a campaign in Conakry. PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI | AFP

A movement against a controversial bid for a third term in office by Guinean President Alpha Conde said it will launch a new round of protests on September 29.

One of the movement’s leaders Abdourahmane Sano issued a rallying call to Guineans in and around the capital to turn out in large numbers for peaceful protests against the 82-year-old’s bid.

“Our citizens’ movement calls on the population of Conakry and the surrounding area to join a series of peaceful marches, starting on Tuesday September 29, 2020, to demand Mr. Alpha Conde’s departure,” Sano said.

Protests in Guinea broke out in mid-October last year amid fears that Conde would try to push an amendment to extend his stay in office after he launched constitutional consultations saying Guinea’s basic law needed reform.

A constitutional amendment which lifted a term-limit allowing Conde to run again was pushed through in a referendum in March.

He subsequently formally accepted a nomination by the ruling Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) to vie in the election sparking public outcry among a section of citizens.

Conde was once a long-time opposition leader whose election into office raised hopes for democratic progress in the West African nation. However, his efforts to stay in power stoked fears that Guinea will head the way of other African countries whose rulers have refused to step down long after their terms in office expired.

Veteran opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo is expected to be Conde’s toughest challenger after another opposition leader, Sidya Toure, who came third in the 2010 and 2015 elections, said he would not participate this year.

Guinea is scheduled to hold elections on October 18.