For the Republic of Guinea’s presidential elections to be fair and democratic, President Alpha Condé must ensure a stable and open internet before, during, and after polling day — scheduled for October 18, 2020.
“The internet plays a crucial role in elections, and the Guinean people have the right to actively participate in the voting process, engage in public discourse, and hold their elected leaders to account,” said Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now. “The Republic of Guinea’s democratic landscape has been tarnished in recent years by government-mandated internet shutdowns, which bring the credibility of election outcomes into question. The whole word is watching, and we won’t let this suppression of a nation happen again — not today, not tomorrow, not during the 2020 presidential elections.”
Access Now and 33 organizations, via an open letter, are sending an urgent appeal to the government of Guinea to:
- Ensure that the internet, including social media and other digital communication platforms, remains open, accessible, and secure;
- Publicly assure the people of the Republic of Guinea that the internet and all social media platforms will be on, and to notify the public of any disruptions; and
- Order internet service providers to provide quality, secure, free, and open internet throughout the elections.
This public call to stay connected comes in the wake of recorded incidents of network disruptions on March 21 and 22, 2020, during the country’s referendum on constitutional reforms.