On Sunday, September 5, soldiers who undertook a coup in Guinea’s capital stated in a short broadcast on state television that they have dissolved the constitution and the government in the West African state.
Unverified videos shared on social media apparently showed President Alpha Conde being surrounded by soldiers. His whereabouts were unclear.
Guinea’s defence ministry said that an attack by mutinous special forces on the presidential palace had been repelled, though it was not immediately clear who held power.
This alleged coup came against the backdrop of President Alpha Condé’s maneuvers to adopt a new Constitution despite popular opposition.
Political observers revealed that this were means to ensure his long-term political future as a third-term President.
Ignoring massive protests, admonitions from ECOWAS leaders, and international criticism, President Alpha Condé pushed through a constitutional referendum in Guinea on March 22 2020.
The referendum along with legislative elections were boycotted by opponents on the grounds that it was illegitimate, having been authorized only by the President of the National Assembly, a Condé ally, and not the Parliament, as stipulated by the Constitution.
At the heart of the controversy is 82-year-old Condé’s quest to undo term limits that would have him step down from the presidency in October, after 10 years in office, enabling Guinea’s first-ever democratic succession.
Under the new Constitution, Condé would be eligible to stay in office for 12 more years.
Having endured 50 years of authoritarian rule and abuses of power before beginning its democratic transition in 2010, the issue of presidential term limits is especially charged for many Guineans.
The legacy of this long period of misgovernance has left Guinea one of the poorest countries in Africa.
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