Guinea: As 82-year-old president heads to third term, opposition leader calls for sustained protests

Nii Ntreh Oct 23, 2020 at 09:00am

October 23, 2020 at 09:00 am | News, Opinions & Features

Nii Ntreh

Nii Ntreh | Associate Editor

October 23, 2020 at 09:00 am | News, Opinions & Features

Before results are declared by the official election body, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo (R) is claiming victory ahead of President Alpha COnde.

Guinea has been thrown into turmoil following a presidential on October 18 in which President Alpha Condé sought a third term after changing the constitutional term limit via a referendum earlier this year.

Now, the leader of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), Cellou Dalein Diallo, has claimed victory even before the country’s election commission declares the official outcome of the polls. In a social media post earlier this week, Diallo also called on his supporters to keep protesting “to fight to preserve, to defend, our victory, and you know that it is threatened by Alpha Condé”.

On Thursday, the commission released provisional results from 37 of the 38 electoral districts in Guinea that showed President Condé had secured about 2.4 million votes, almost two times of Diallo’s 1.26 million. Diallo is expected to reject any result other than what goes in his favor after he alleged to hold evidence of electoral malpractice that was done to Condé’s benefit.

Condé, 82, has been Guinea’s president since 2010, serving two 5-year terms. He is only the country’s third democratically elected president in 62 years since the West African nation gained independence from France.

But last year, Condé proposed a change in the constitutional term limit that would see him go for another term. This year, the March 22 referendum was held in spite of the scare posed by early coronavirus infections in the country as well as protestations by civil bodies and political parties.

The opportunity for a third-term was granted by the referendum and now, it seems Africa‘s second-oldest president will, all things being equal, reign until he’s nearly 90.

Diallo’s calls for protests have been heeded and clashes have claimed about 10 lives, according to Al Jazeera. Regional body ECOWAS, as well as the African Union, have called for calm after both organizations concluded that the election was free and fair.

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