Three African Countries Brace for Potential Election Turmoil

Three African Countries Brace for Potential Election Turmoil
Party members have their temperature checked and sanitize their hands as a precaution against the coronavirus at the national congress of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party in Dodoma, Tanzania, July 11, 2020 (AP Photo).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

Three African countries are gearing up for fraught presidential elections this month that have raised fears of violence and disrupted democratic norms. In Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea, incumbents are seeking constitutionally questionable third terms, while in Tanzania, the government appears to be restricting the opposition’s ability to even compete.

In Guinea, where rallies against a third term for President Alpha Conde have been ongoing since last year, Amnesty International reported this week that security forces killed at least 50 protesters between October 2019 and July 2020. Even as Guinean officials denounced the findings, another protester was shot dead Wednesday. Conde forced through constitutional changes in March that blurred the language around term limits, as Lindsey Pruett explained in a January WPR briefing, and which he has since used to justify running again. While opposition organizers have vowed to continue the protests through the Oct. 18 elections, they remain split over participating in the vote. Opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo is running against Conde for a third time, but members of his coalition argue that a boycott might send a stronger message.

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