The Trump administration said on Friday it was concerned about the Government of Guinea’s current plans to hold legislative elections and a constitutional referendum on March 1.
Guinean President Alpha Conde announced in a televised address last year he was moving forward with plans to hold a constitutional referendum ahead of elections set for 2020.
The announcement prompted fears from the opposition that he will attempt to prolong his rule in the West African country with a long history of dictatorships and coups.
Conde came to power in 2010 as the country’s first democratically elected leader since independence from France in 1958.
“President Alpha Conde wants to plunge Guinea into chaos,” opposition leader Bah Oury said late last year after the late night address by the president. “He doesn’t want to go when his second term finishes. But he will go — this new constitution will not pass.”
In a statement late on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo wrote: “We question whether the process will be free, fair, and transparent and accurately reflect the will of all eligible voters. We urge all parties to engage in nonviolent civil dialogue. The Government of Guinea should implement the United Nations’ recommendations for voter rolls and uphold its commitment to an inclusive national consultation on the new constitution”.
Mr. Pompeo said violence, repression, and political intimidation have no place in a democracy.
“We call upon all protestors, regardless of political affiliation, to refrain from violence. We urge the security forces to respect the rights of all citizens to participate in peaceful protests. We also call upon the Government of Guinea to investigate fully all deaths associated with demonstrations and to make the results of these investigations public.
“As I conveyed to President Conde in September 2019 during his visit to Washington, the United States strongly supports regular, democratic transitions of power. The United States remains committed to working with all Guineans to strengthen their democratic system for peace, prosperity, and partnership in the years to come,” he aded.