The Guinean opposition announced on Monday in Conakry that it would boycott the legislative elections scheduled for February 16 and prevent their holding, in a country plagued by deadly violence because of the President’s intention to seek a third term in 2020.
“We have decided that we cannot participate. It’s not about boycotting and sitting idly by. We are going to prevent these elections from taking place, « said opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo after a meeting of the leaders of some 20 opposition parties.
Denouncing an “electoral masquerade”, Mr. Diallo justified this decision by divergences with the capacity, in particular on the revision of the electoral register. « There has been a massive enrollment of minors, » while « people who have the right to do so have not been allowed to enroll, » he said. « We cannot accept that an election based on this file is held, » he added.
“We have taken an important decision today which will consist in not (competing) with (the president) Alpha Condé until the conditions for a free and transparent election are met”, added another official of the opposition, Etienne Soropogui.
The announcement of the boycott of the legislative comes while the challenge against the intention attributed to President Condé to run for a third mandate does not weaken in this small country of 13 million inhabitants of West Africa, poor despite significant mineral resources.
On December 19, the head of state, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, released a draft new constitution to be submitted to the Guinean people on an unspecified date.
The Guinean opposition immediately shouted for a « constitutional coup » and confirmed their call to protest massively on Thursday, December 26.
The maneuver lent to the Guinean president has provoked demonstrations for two months which gathered in Conakry and in the provinces tens, even hundreds of thousands of Guineans opposed to this prospect.
The protest, which was severely repressed on several occasions, resulted in the deaths of at least 20 civilians and a gendarme. Hundreds of people have been arrested. Human rights defenders denounce the excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and the impunity of the security forces.