Guinea Announces Ban On Protests, Cites COVID-19 Reasons

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde greets his supporters in Conakry on October 31, 2019. – Tens of thousands of Guineans rallied in support of President Alpha Conde on October 31, 2019, after two weeks of violent protests against the leader’s suspected bid to prolong his rule claimed around 10 lives. (Photo by CELLOU BINANI / AFP)

Ahead of planned protests by opposition parties in various towns and cities across Guinea, the presidency in the West African country has again announced a nationwide ban on public demonstrations as part of the measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

President Alpha Conde won a controversial third term in last month. The opposition candidate in the polls, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had called for mass protests beginning Wednesday, November 25, against the results of the October 18 presidential election.

The main march by Daillo’s supporters was scheduled to be held in Conakry from Gbessia International Airport (CKY) to Palais du Peuple, but it is unclear whether the march will go ahead in defiance of government restrictions.

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Condé, who has been Guinea’s president since 2010, pushed through a change in the constitution following a referendum in March that effectively reset the two-term limit in the constitution and allowed him to run as his party’s candidate in the presidential election on October 18.

The controversial move by Condé prompted months of protests across Guinea, with opposition groups claiming that at least 90 people had been killed in unrest during the election campaign.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni) declared Condé the winner of the presidential election on October 24, with a 59.94 percent majority in the first round.

The official results have been challenged by opposition groups, including Diallo who had earlier claimed to be ahead during early vote counting.

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Diallo had also failed in his bid to get the result overturned in the courts after alleging that the vote had been rigged.

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