AFRICA/GUINEA - Tense presidential election results

Monday, 19 October 2020 elections   violence   bishops  

Conakry (Agenzia Fides) - The results of the first round of the presidential election on October 18th is expected, in an atmosphere of tension. The two main candidates are outgoing President Alpha Condé, and Cellou Dalein Diallo. The latter accuses the outgoing Head of State of seeking a "lifelong presidency". If none of the candidates is elected by a majority in the first round, the second round will take place on November 24th.
The election campaign was preceded by protests by the opposition against the prospect of a third term for Condé. The protest, launched in October 2019, was severely suppressed. Dozens of civilians were killed. The number of presidential terms is limited to two. But according to Condé, But in Condé's opinion, with the adoption of the new constitution last March, the counting of his mandates will start again.
"We documented the murder of 52 civilians on the basis of the testimony of the victims' relatives", emphasizes Ibrahima Diallo, coordinator of the local non-governmental organization "Tournons la page", which was supported by Secours Catholique and heard by the International Criminal Court.
A report by "Tournons la page" also lists a dozen seriously injured and 80 arrests or kidnappings. "I was kidnapped myself and my wife was abused", says Diallo.
"For us, these 52 deaths are crimes against humanity because the killings are targeted. Most of the victims come from the Peul community and live in an opposition stronghold. We ask the International Criminal Court to initiate a preliminary investigation".
Diallo states that "the third term in Alpha Condé is unconstitutional. Because the Guinean constitution of 2010 forbids any revision of the number and duration of presidential terms. The President ignored this provision and carried out a constitutional coup with the referendum in March which allowed him to change the constitution".
"He forced this at the expense of the blood shed by the Guineans. Let us write a new chapter and advocate democratic change. Another term of office for Alpha Condé beyond the two expired mandates is a threat to peace and stability. He does everything to stay in power, even if it means killing", concludes Diallo.
In view of the tensions and violence that shook the country, His Exc. Mgr. Vincent Coulibaly, Archbishop of Conakry asked during his homily on the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15, "to put an end to all violence and to begin an inclusive dialogue in favor of peace so that the conflicting parties can listen to each other and exchange their points of view in order to find peaceful solutions to the national crisis" (see Fides, 25/8/2020). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 19/10/2020)