Thursday, October 28, 2021

Guinea coup leader sworn in as transitional president

Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, who led a coup last month in Guinea, was sworn in as interim president on Friday, promising to honor the country’s international commitments by transitioning to civilian rule.

Doumbouya, who led the overthrow of President Alpha Condé on 5 September, was sworn in by Supreme Court chief Mamadou Silla for a transition period of unspecified length.

The new interim president spoke of his commitment that neither he nor any member of the public would stand in any future elections, which the military has promised to hold after the transition period.

The mission of his administration, he said, is to “reclaim the state” by drafting a new constitution, fighting corruption, reforming the electoral system, and then holding “free, credible and transparent” elections.

The swearing-in ceremony took place in the presence of Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the Supreme Court, as well as local celebrities and foreign envoys, including Daumbouya’s wife and mother.

Later on Friday, in a message to the nation read on television, Daumbouya said that “a prime minister will be appointed in the coming days and then a government as well as various organs of transition.”

He also announced the formation of a body to fight corruption.

Many Western countries limit their attendance at the swearing-in ceremony to lower level diplomats.

Doumbouya again did not say how long he would remain interim leader of the impoverished West African nation. But he promised to honor “all national and international commitments that the country has accepted.”

Prior to the swearing-in, Supreme Court President Silla compared Doumbouya’s act to steering a ship “filled with many traumatic events, many demands and excessive and immediate expectations”.

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He urged the new leader not to let himself be “distracted by the force of the waves of democracy and the storm of personality cult.”

The ceremony was held on the eve of a public holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence from France in 1958.

Doumbouya, 41, will serve as transitional president until the country returns to civilian rule, according to a blueprint unveiled by the junta on Monday, which did not mention a timeline.

Till then they have the authority to hire and dismiss an interim prime minister.

The September 5 coup, the latest bout of unrest in one of Africa’s most unstable countries, overthrew 83-year-old President Condé.

The deposed leader is being kept at an undisclosed location.

Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.

But last year he pushed for a controversial new constitution that allowed him to run for a third term in October 2020.

The move led to massive demonstrations in which dozens of protesters were killed. Conde won re-election but the political opposition called the vote a sham.

The unrest has caused deep concern among Guinea’s neighbours.

The coup is the second to take place in the region after Mali in less than 13 months.

The region’s faction, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is demanding that elections be held within six months and that Conde be released.

Despite abundant reserves of minerals including iron ore, gold and diamonds, Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world.


Nation World News Desk
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