Guinean President Alpha Condé has validated the date of February 16 for the legislative elections, in a country in the grip of deadly agitation against the intention of the head of state to seek a third term in 2020.
« Guinean citizens of voting age and duly registered on the electoral list of the current year are called to the polls for the legislative elections of February 16, 2020, » said a presidential decree read Monday night on television.
This date was advanced Saturday by the president of the electoral commission. However, she remained suspended for the approval of President Condé. Even after its approval, the timetable can not be taken for granted given the political uncertainties of the moment.
The date of December 28th had been proposed previously. But the opposition and its representatives in the electoral commission had denounced an unrealistic project and serving, according to her, the project assigned to President Condé to seek his own succession and to revise for this the Constitution which limits to two the number of presidential terms.
The International Organization of La Francophonie, which accompanies the electoral process, concluded that the date of December 28 was « to be reconsidered ».
The current Parliament took office in January 2014 for five years. Elections were due to take place in late 2018 or early 2019, but did not take place for political and technical reasons amid heated quarrels between the majority and the opposition.
Dead in anti-Condé demonstrations
The updating of the electoral register has become a major obstacle. In January, Mr. Condé extended the term of Parliament until the installation of a new Parliament on an unspecified date.
The president of the electoral commission Amadou Salif Kébé had indicated Saturday that Guinea had acquired the necessary electoral material and was reassuring about the lists of electors.
This new date is stated as Guinea, a small poor country of 13 million inhabitants, is agitated by the protest since a collective of opposition parties, unions and civil society called for the mobilization to make barrage to a possible third term of President Condé. A new event is announced for Thursday.
At least 16 civilians and one gendarme have been killed since 14 October. Dozens of others were injured, dozens arrested and tried.
Human rights defenders denounce the excessive use of force by the government, arbitrary arrests and repression aimed at reducing opposition to silence.