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The head of the military junta in Conakry announced on Saturday that he had opted for a transition period of “39 months” before returning power to civilians, thus defying Guinea’s regional partners, who are asking for a much shorter period.
Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of the military junta in power in Guinea, announced on Saturday April 30 that he had opted for a transition period of “39 months” before returning power to civilians.
“From all the consultations undertaken at all levels (…), there emerges a median proposal for a consensual duration of the transition of 39 months”, declared Colonel Mamady Doumbouya in a televised address to the Nation.
The officer, who overthrew President Alpha Condé in September and has since had himself proclaimed head of state, made the remarks after the conclusion on Friday of two disputed political consultations, a so-called reconciliation conference and ” framework for inclusive consultation”, both shunned by a large number of political parties.
“The CNRD [Comité national du rassemblement et du développement, l’organe dirigeant de la junte, NDLR] and the government in turn will submit to the CNT [Conseil national de transition, NDLR]which takes the place of Parliament, this proposal which is the result of wide and patient consultations”, declared the Colonel-President.
Against the ECOWAS ultimatum
At the end of March, impatient with their manifest refusal to announce a date for elections intended to return power to civilians, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had summoned the authorities of Conakry to present “No later than April 25” an “acceptable” transition schedule, under penalty of an extension of the economic sanctions decided against the country after the coup.
But the junta let the deadline pass and asked to “have more time compared to the deadline of April 25”, in order to “allow the continuation of consultations”, according to a press release from ECOWAS published on Wednesday.
In September, after the putsch in Conakry, the heads of state of ECOWAS had “insisted that the transition be very short” and that elections be organized within a period not exceeding “six months”.
By closing the “inclusive consultation framework”, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Mory Condé, declared on Friday that the “all the actors” who had agreed to participate had “proposed durations ranging from 18 to 52 months” for the transition, without specifying from what date.
As in Mali or Burkina Faso, two other countries in the region where the military took power, the Guinean junta seems to disregard the demands of ECOWAS.
Tuesday, the day after the expiry of the ultimatum of the regional organization, the spokesman of the government put in place by the junta, Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, had delivered a violent attack against ECOWAS.
“We did not send a document [sur le calendrier de la transition à la Cédéao] and we were clear on this from the start that the Guinean government does not act under the constraints or under the dictate of anyone, “he said, not excluding that Guinea withdraws from ECOWAS.
ECOWAS “must make its own self-criticism”, he added, accusing the West African organization of having been “distanced from the cries of the Guinean populations” during the deadly repression of the protest which marked the last years of power of Alpha Condé.
In a press release published on Saturday before Colonel Doumbouya’s announcement on the duration of the transition, the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), deplored “that the facts and actions of the CNRD resemble each day more those of the regime deposed from Alpha Condé” and pleaded for a “rapid return to normal constitutional order”.