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Guinea: Alpha Conde’s possible third term bid sparks protests

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde is coming under intense pressure following reports he could seek a third term in office.

These reports have sparked protests with thousands demonstrating on Thursday after similar actions in the past weeks resulted in the jailing of a dozen opposition campaigners and politicians.

On Tuesday, twelve FNDC leaders were sentenced to up to a year in prison for organising rallies resulting in the deaths of nine people.

There have been violent reactions from the security agencies as well with police opening fire on protesters as they ransacked military posts and blocked roads last week.

During Thursday’s protests across the country, there chants by protesters saying “Amoulanfe”, meaning “It will not happen” in the local Susu language.

Some also chanted “Free the prisoners” during Thursday’s march in the capital Conakry.

Opposed to constitutional changes

The protesters led by the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of politicians and activists are opposing a constitutional change that could let Conde seek a third term.

“We want him (Conde) to free the jailed leaders before any negotiation happens. Then Alpha needs to say he will not be a candidate,” a protester Algassimou Diallo was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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

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

The move is seen by many as an attempt to hold onto power by changing the constitution.


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