Guinean President Alpha Condé announced on the evening (local time) of Tuesday, February 4, that the Sunday, March 1, legislative elections will be coupled with a constitutional referendum. The presidential campaign director, Papa Koly Kourouma, justified coupling the polls due to economic concerns and voter mobilization.
The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) opposition coalition has denounced the referendum as a constitutional coup enabling Condé to remain in power.
Political protests and rallies are to be expected over the coming weeks, particularly in Conakry and other major cities. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be anticipated near all associated events.
Initially scheduled on Sunday, February 16, the legislative elections were postponed by President Condé until March 1 for technical reasons.
Opposition members allege that President Condé, who has been in power since 2010, is positioning himself to change the constitution in order to allow him to run for a third presidential term in late 2020. President Condé publicly called for a constitutional referendum on December 19, 2019.
Individuals in Guinea are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.