Guinea president announces controversial new draft constitution

2019-12-20 10:32
Guinea's president Alpha Conde swears the oath of office for the second term of his presidency in Conakry. (AFP)

Guinea's president Alpha Conde swears the oath of office for the second term of his presidency in Conakry. (AFP)

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Guinea's President Alpha Conde on Thursday announced a new draft constitution despite mass demonstrations over concerns he intends to pursue a third term.

In a televised address, Conde once again avoided stating whether he intended to run for president again when his second term ends in 2020.

The draft constitution published on Thursday evening by the presidency stated that the president is elected for a mandate of six years, renewable once. The presidential term is currently five years.

Conde launched constitutional consultations in September, saying the former French colony's basic law "concentrates corporate interests" and needed reform.

But his adversaries say the president will try to push through an amendment allowing him to seek a third term in elections due in 2020. He has neither confirmed nor denied that claim.

The draft constitution will be "widely disseminated before its adoption" by the people, Conde said, hinting at a possible referendum.

Guineans took to the streets en masse on December 10, in the latest round of mass anti-government protests to hit the fragile West African state.

Around one million people protested, according to one opposition MP although the figure could not be independently verified.

The poor former French colony country of some 13 million has seen rolling demonstrations since mid-October over suspicions that the 81-year-old president is manoeuvring to seek a third term in office.

At least 20 civilians have been killed since protests began, and one gendarme has also been killed.

Scores of people have also been arrested and detained in the unrest.

Read more on:    alpha conde  |  guinea

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