Political parties in Guinea are focusing on the busy electoral agenda next year, with planned legislative and presidential elections, as well as a possible constitutional referendum.
However, the process has already been marred by accusations of fraud from the opposition, who point to delays and alleged manipulation of the electoral register.
Abdoulaye Oumou Sow, a freed opposition leader said: “By engaging in this fight we expected this, we even expected to die for this fight. Because we are championing a noble fight. Imprisonment has only galvanised us.”
For the past two months, Guinean opposition supporters have been protesting a new draft constitution that could allow President Alpha Conde to remain in power for a third term.
But the government says it is determined to to go ahead and respect the election timetable it has set.
Aboubacar Sylla, government spokesman echoes the administration’s sentiments: “We are still two months away from the parliamentary elections, and there are already accusations of fraud.
“The objective of this ongoing dialogue is precisely to review all the difficulties encountered in the process regarding the parliamentary elections and, with the electoral commission, to try to remove all obstacles to achieve an inclusive and transparent electoral process.”
A two-thirds parliamentary majority would allow President Conde’s party enough room to hold a referendum on the constitution.
But the president’s own position remains not entirely clear. To date, he has neither confirmed nor denied whether he wants to stay on for a third term.