Several killed in Guinea during controversial referendum

7 days ago

March 23 (UPI) — Several people were killed in violence across Guinea amid a referendum vote for an amendment that would extend President Alpha Conde’s tenure, authorities said Monday.

Protesters overran three polling stations in the Kolanboui region, electoral officials were attacked at another station in Petit Symbaya and a man was killed by security forces at a facility in the capital of Conakry, officials said.

The opposition group FNDC said 10 people were killed by security forces as they made “massive arrests” during Sunday’s referendum vote. They called for new protests against the election on Monday and Tuesday.

The controversial amendment would extend the term of Guinea’s president from five to seven years. Conde, 82, who is near the end of his second term, is barred from running again.

Opponents have decried the proposed amendment, saying it’s intended to keep Conde in office. Supporters, however, argue it would bring needed changes in the conservative country, particularly for women.

The referendum included other potential changes, including bans on female genital mutilation and underage marriage, and would give women equal rights in divorce cases.

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