Guinea opposition leaders call for fresh protests

Guinean President Alpha Conde speaks during a press conference in Conakry on March 17, 2015 (AFP Photo/Cellou Binani)
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Paris (AFP) - The leaders of the three main Guinean opposition parties met in Paris Tuesday and called for renewed protests against President Alpha Conde, who they claimed has "lost all legitimacy".

Cellou Dalein Diallo, Sidya Toure and Lansana Kouyate accused the president of repeated rights violations.

The opposition boycotted parliament earlier this month in protest over the timetable for presidential elections.

"Alpha Conde has lost all legitimacy to rule Guinea. If he stays in power, it will pose a serious threat to peace and unity in Guinea, and to stability in the region," the opponents said in a joint statement.

They told demonstrators to support their demands, especially the call to bring forward local elections due in March next year.

The opposition has accused Conde of using the Ebola epidemic as an excuse to postpone elections and of refusing to enter into a dialogue over the timetable.

More than 10,000 people have died of Ebola, almost all in west Africa, since it emerged in Guinea in December 2013.

"We will take to the streets," said Diallo, who lost to Conde in the second round of the 2012 vote.

"We have decided to organise our struggle, our resistance against the establishment of a dictatorship and the looting of our people's democratic achievements," he told AFP.

"We are ready to fight until Conde leaves power."

The call for protests came nearly a week after the opposition withdrew its lawmakers from parliament and said it would no longer recognise the election commission in protest.

The last election in Guinea -- September 2013's parliamentary vote -- was delayed by almost three years, stoking deadly ethnic tensions that have dogged the country's politics since independence.

One of the poorest countries in the region despite vast potential for mineral exploitation, Guinea was run by a succession of autocratic rulers after gaining independence from France in 1958.

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