20°C / 22°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 31°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 31°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 33°C
  • 17°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 33°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 29°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 31°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 33°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 32°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 33°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 28°C
  • 22°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 20°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 19°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 19°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 19°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 20°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 30°C
  • 18°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 31°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 30°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 32°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 35°C
  • 18°C
  • Wed
  • 29°C
  • 18°C
  • Thu
  • 33°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 34°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 30°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 30°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 33°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 30°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 14°C

Russian ambassador sparks backlash with suggestion Guinea change constitution

President Alpha Conde’s second and final term in office expires in 2020, but there is widespread speculation that he intends to try to amend the constitution to stay in office.

FILE: President Alpha Conde of Guinea. Picture: AFP.

CONAKRY - A suggestion by the Russian ambassador to Guinea that President Alpha Conde changes the constitution and run for a third term has set off a firestorm of criticism among Conde’s opponents a year ahead of a presidential election.

Conde’s second and final term in office expires in 2020 after a decade in power, but there is widespread speculation that he intends to try to amend the constitution to stay in office. Conde has refused to comment on the matter.

In comments at a diplomatic ceremony broadcast on national television on Wednesday, Ambassador Alexander Bregadze lavished praise on the 80-year-old Conde, whom he called “legendary”, and said that rotating leaders was not necessarily a good thing.

“Constitutions are no dogma, Bible or Koran,” he said. “It’s constitutions that adapt to reality, not realities that adapt to constitutions,” Bregadze said.

“Guinea needs you today. And as the popular Russian saying goes, you don’t change horses at a river crossing.”

The remarks drew criticism from Guinean opposition leaders and media, who accused Bregadze of sullying Guinea’s sovereignty, despite Russia’s regular injunctions to Western powers to stay out of other countries’ internal affairs.

“We condemn this... position taken by the Russian ambassador,” Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, the spokesman for Guinea’s main opposition party, the UFDG, told Reuters.

“Our constitution is clear about any third mandate and we will not accept an attempt to modify it.”

Kababachir.com, a website catering to Guinea’s diaspora, went further in its criticism.

“By citing the Koran, the Bible, etc., this diplomat, the communication counsellor of Alpha Conde, incarnates the spirit of evil,” it said in a column.

Russia has been ramping up its diplomatic and military influence across Africa in recent years and has a particular interest in Guinea as its biggest aluminium producer Rusal owns a major bauxite mine in the country.

Conde’s first election win in 2010 ended two years of military rule. His opponents say he has since cracked down on dissent, and frequent protests have broken out in the capital Conakry and bauxite mining hubs.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus