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Guinea set to vote on new constitution after months of unrest

Guineans will be called to vote Sunday on whether to adopt a new constitution, after months of protests.

The government says the draft constitution will, among other things, codify gender equality and ban female circumcision and under-age marriage in the West African state.

But critics fear the real motive is to reset presidential term limits, allowing Conde, 81, to run for a third spell in office later this year.

The vote is taking place against a background of tension and violence.

Guineans have protested en-masse since mid-October, in rallies that have led to the deaths of 30 demonstrators and one gendarme, according to an AFP tally.

Guinea is an impoverished but mineral-rich nation of some 13 million people who hail from several ethnic groups, and the tensions have stoked concern of violence.

This week, the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), gathering French-speaking states, said it had problems with 2.49 million out of the 7.7 million names on the electoral roll.

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