Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Members of Guinea’s junta barred from running in next elections

The junta says it would not yield to any pressure to allow former president Alpha Conde to leave the country.

• September 28, 2021
Mamady Doumbouya and Alpha Conde
Mamady Doumbouya and Alpha Conde

Guinea’s junta said Monday its members are barred from standing in the next national or local elections.

It also said the length of transition to elections would be agreed upon with an 81-member Transitional National Council (TNC).

Earlier this month, the leader of the September 5 coup, Mamady Doumbouya, shrugged off asset freezes and travel bans imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc aimed at pressuring a swift transition to constitutional rule.

Over the past two weeks, the junta has held consultations with public figures and business leaders to map out a framework for a transitional government.

According to the charter of the transition, Mr Doumbouya is to be president.

The government would be composed of a civilian prime minister and cabinet, none of whom may be candidates in the elections, a junta spokesperson said on the state broadcaster.

The TNC must be at least 30 per cent female and would include a president and two vice-presidents.

They are also not allowed to run for office in the upcoming elections, the spokesperson said.

Regional leaders sought to impose sanctions to deter further democratic backsliding in the region, following four military-led coups in West and Central Africa since last year.

On September 17, Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo paid a one-day visit to Conakry to seek Mr Conde’s release.

Mr Ouattara had been hoping to leave Guinea with Mr Conde, a senior regional government official said.

“The former president is and remains in Guinea. We will not yield to any pressure,” the junta said in a statement read on state TV.

Representing the 15-member strong ECOWAS, Messrs Ouattara and Akufo-Addo, held a separate meeting with Mr Conde at the Mohamed VI Palace in Conakry but flew out of the country empty-handed.

“I met my brother Alpha Conde, who is doing well. We will remain in contact,” Mr Ouattara said at the Conakry airport to newsmen before leaving.

“We’ve had a very frank and fraternal meeting with Doumbouya and his collaborators. I think that ECOWAS and Guinea are going to find the best way to move forward together,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.

ECOWAS has demanded a return to constitutional rule since the special forces unit seized control of the presidential palace, detained Mr Conde, and declared itself in charge.

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