Guinea election postponed once more, with president citing security concerns

Parliamentary elections and a constitutional referendum in the West African country of Guinea, originally scheduled to be held today, have

guinea election postponed

Photo: Frederick Florian/AFP

Parliamentary elections and a constitutional referendum in the West African country of Guinea, originally scheduled to be held today, have been postponed for another two weeks.

81-year-old incumbent President Alpha Conde cited security concerns and the withdrawal of international observers including from the African Union and the West African economic bloc for the delay. However, international observers have expressed concerns over the integrity of the vote, as more than 2 million duplicate names and deceased voters are on the rolls.

The real battleground is the prospect of a new constitution. Mass protests have been ongoing since October last year. Opposition protesters fear Conde using the referendum to legitimise his ability to seek a third term in office under a new constitution. Conde, who has been in power since 2010, is in his second and final term under the current constitution.

Whether the votes proceed in two weeks time or not, expect the main opposition parties to continue boycotting any polls until Conde announces that he won’t run for a third term. Conde’s presidential term runs out in December and he is likely to remain vague about his future, feeding opposition beliefs that he will run again. Should the vote proceed, expect the opposition to challenge the legitimacy of any results—especially if the new constitution is approved. However, even if the elections are postponed again, mass violent protests will likely continue.

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