Referendum marred by violent protests
Publish date: 23 March 2020
Issue Number: 865
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Guinea has held a constitutional referendum despite the threat of Covid-19 and an opposition boycott. Opponents of President Alpha Conde say the vote could clear the way for him to govern for 12 more years. A report on the allAfrica site notes that several people were killed in clashes between police and protesters over the weekend. The FNDC, an umbrella opposition group, said anti-government forces came under fire by security forces who 'carried out massive arrests, fired blindly, cruelly molested (and) killed at least 10 people'. Opposition supporters allegedly attacked several polling stations in the capital Conakry. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, the country was placed on the Civicus Monitor human rights watch list ahead of the referendum. The constitution limits presidential tenures to two five-year terms and can only be changed via a referendum. The list draws attention to countries where there has been a rapid decline in civic and democratic freedoms.