Guinea’s junta bars members from contesting in election

Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara walks with Special forces commander Mamady Doumbouya who ousted President Alpha Conde upon his arrival to discuss ways to return the country to constitutional in Conakry, Guinea, Sept. 17, 2021. Ivory Coast Presidency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.

 Guinea’s junta said on Monday its members are barred from standing in the next national or local elections, and that it will agree on the length of transition to elections with an 81-member Transitional National Council (TNC).

Earlier this month the leader of the Sept. 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, Doumbouya is to be president, with a government 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% female, and will include a president and two vice-presidents, who 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 backslide in the region after four military-led coups in West and Central Africa since last year.

On Sept. 17 Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo paid a one-day visit to Conakry to ask coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, a special forces commander and former French Legionnaire, for Conde’s release.

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

“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.

Ouattara and Akufo-Addo, representing the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held a separate meeting with Conde at the Mohamed VI Palace in Conakry but flew out of the country on Friday evening empty-handed.

Ouattara told Radio-Télévision Guinéenne (RTG) at Conakry airport before leaving: “I met my brother Alpha Conde, who is doing well. We will remain in contact.”

Akufo-Addo told RTG: “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.”

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

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