Opposition parties in Guinean have formed a coalition to denounce what it has been termed a 'constitutional coup d'etat' after President Alpha Condé announced plans to amend the constitution.
The constitution amendment will accommodate a clause that will enable him to seek a third term in office.
Opposition parties and critics alike have argued that the primary reason behind the proposed constitutional amendment was to seek a third term in office, which the current constitution forbids. They claim that the president who has served for two tenures and is currently 81 years old should respect the law and step down from office when his tenure expires rather than try to amend the constitution before the next general election.
The proposed draft sets the terms at six years instead of five renewable once and does not state whether he would be allowed to run.
The announcement by the 81-year-old president Alpha Conde provoked citizens who have recently staged weekly protests against a possible third term.
According to reports, the protests have left at least 20 civilians dead and dozens arrested.
Reports also claim that despite initially hailed for ushering in change when he came to power in 2010, Alpha Conde has cracked down on the opposition in recent years.
The president of the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court had already agreed to the proposal, Conde said in a televised address on state broadcaster Radio Télévision Guinéenne.
A new constitution is needed to replace the 2010 version, which was drafted to end military ruler Dadis Camara's short time in power and was never adopted by popular vote, he said.
"This proposal will be subject to a broad outreach campaign before its adoption by the sovereign people," Conde said.
"Since the creation of our movement, we have repeatedly explained to the Guinean people and the international community that Alpha Conde wants to seek a third mandate and that he intended to hold a referendum."
Sidya Toure, the president of the opposition group Union of Republican Forces and a former prime minister reacting to the reports, told Guineenews; "this confirms his intentions."
Guinea is a country in West Africa, bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It's known for the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, in the southeast. The reserve protects a forested mountain range rich in native plants and animals, including chimpanzees and the viviparous toad. On the coast, the capital city, Conakry, is home to the modern Grand Mosque and the National Museum, with its regional artifacts. (Wikipedia)
About Alpha Condé
Alpha Condé is a Guinean politician who has been President of Guinea since December 2010. He spent decades in opposition to a succession of regimes in Guinea, before becoming president. He was born on 4 March 1938 (age 81 years), in Boke, Guinea. (Wikipedia)
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