As Guinea readies itself for its presidential election, Guineas’s blogger association will deploy around 150 observers to report any possible incidents or frauds in Sunday’s election, where President Alpha Conde, 82, is bidding for a controversial third term.
” election day On, we will have several e-observers, several people in the field who will send us data via digital channels, so the team will be in charge of managing all this data, classifying and analyzing it”, says Mamadou Alfa Diallo, the president of Ablogui.
Alfa Diallo, the president of Ablogui, Guineas’s blogger association, has decided to monitor any possible shortcomings in the elections.
“Have you witnessed any event that could hinder the electoral process (before, during,or after) ? Report it on Twitter with #GuineeVote, by text messaging at 622 555 909 or on our website : https://guineevote.ushahidi.io.”
With elections by the corner, Internet freedom monitors are getting worried of an internet shutdown that could incapacitate reports of shortcomings on the day of the vote. Sometime in March during the constitutional referundum, several websites including Ablogui, could not be accessed.
Addressing the press in Conakry this week, Ablogui’s Alpha Diallo warned that internet restrictions would hamper the work of observers.
“We are not going to allow what happened last time,” he said, explaining that his group would document all blocks.
Internet freedom monitors have their eyes trained on Guinea ahead of its tension-filled election on Sunday, fearing that the government will restrict access to social media to weaken the opposition.
“It’s very rapidly become an element in how elections are decided in Guinea,” said Alp Toker, the founder of internet-monitoring group NetBlocks.
The African Union’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Lawrence Mute, admonished Guinea for internet disruptions in an April statement.
“Internet and social media shutdowns violate the right to freedom of expression and access to information,” he said.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News