Guinea’s military junta has appealed to ECOWAS to reconsider and extend the six-month timeline it has been given to return the country to constitutional rule.
According to the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CRND), even though it had begun processes to restore democracy to Guinea, it did not have the capacity to complete the arrangements within the six-month time frame.
At a meeting with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the Jubilee House in Accra last Wednesday, the three-man delegation from Guinea, led by the Second-in-Command of the CRND, Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly, said the junta was committed to restoring democratic rule to Guinea.
The delegation was at the Jubilee House to brief ECOWAS on the processes the CRND had embarked on to restore democracy to Guinea.
Col Koulibaly said after 10 days of consultations with key stakeholders in Guinea, a new Transition Charter had been drafted and adopted, thereby reinforcing the commitment and determination of the military leadership to return the country to civilian rule.
He said per the charter, a civilian Prime Minister would lead the transition government, whose members would be barred from standing for presidential and legislative elections.
Col Koulibaly further said during the meeting, a decision was arrived at to conduct a countrywide census, restructure the electoral code and establish a new electoral body to conduct free and fair elections.
“All these take time, and given that we don’t have the capacity to complete the process within the six-month period, we plead with ECOWAS to reconsider the time given us to conduct presidential and legislative elections,” he added.
According to Col Koulibaly, the CRND understood and accepted the decisions taken and the sanctions placed on Guinea by ECOWAS.
He, however, entreated the subregional body to consider the peculiar circumstances that had led to the coup d’etat on September 5, 2021.
President Akufo-Addo commended the military leadership for the effort to return Guinea to constitutional rule, saying the meeting and the adoption of the charter were in the right direction.
He said as Chairman of ECOWAS, he was encouraged by the decisions of the CNRD to update the body regularly on the evolution of the transition process.
He, however, re-emphasised his condemnation of the coup d'état, saying it was in contravention of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, which demands that political power be attained through the ballot and not the bullet.
President Akufo-Addo was also unequivocal about the time frame for holding elections in Guinea, saying six months was sufficient for such an exercise.
“We assure you of ECOWAS’ commitment to help overhaul the electoral process in Guinea by providing technical support,” he added.
On the vexed issue of the arrest of President Alpha Condé, the ECOWAS Chairman expressed worry about President Conde’s continued detention, physical safety and inability to exercise his fundamental human rights.
President Akufo-Addo, therefore, demanded the immediate and unconditional release of President Condé.