Guinea opposition holds protests over delays in local election power transition

Guinea opposition holds protests over delays in local election power transition

Opposition supporters in the West African state of Guinea are expected to hold a series of marches in the capital,

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AFP/Cellou Binani

Opposition supporters in the West African state of Guinea are expected to hold a series of marches in the capital, Conakry, today.

Anti-government protests have been held since mid-October. Demonstrators have been incensed by the fact that local officials, elected in February, are yet to be sworn in. Deep-rooted ethnic tensions, a renewed outbreak of the ebola virus and resentment toward President Alpha Conde’s turn toward authoritarian rule are all long term causes for the unrest. Likewise, although Guinea is a major exporter of iron ore, it remains one of the poorest nations in the world, largely due to poor governance and corruption.

While today’s protests are unlikely to be large enough to force President Conde to step down, a larger-than-expected turnout may motivate the government to make minor concessions, such as expediting the appointment of elected local officials. However, doing so could bolster institutional opposition to his policies and expansion of executive power.  Regardless of whether or not concessions are provided, Guinea appears to be moving toward further post-election destabilisation.

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