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Guinea: Dozens of parties threaten to demonstrate against the junta

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CELLOU BINANI/AFP or licensors -

Guinea

Guinea's most representative parties threatened on Wednesday to call for demonstrations if the ruling junta keeps delaying the return of civilians to power while "humiliating" their leaders.

These parties have come out of their previous restraint towards the junta which took power by force in September 2021.

"Inclusiveness and justice (...) no longer seem to be the compass" of the junta, they say, referring to its promise, when it took power, to make justice its compass. "It is clear that the junta is moving away from the rules and principles of the rule of law and is voluntarily dragging its feet in carrying out the necessary steps to return to constitutional order," they said.

The head of the junta, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who became president on 1 October, has pledged to hand over power to elected civilians at the end of a transitional period. But he refuses to be dictated to by a deadline.

The parties reproach the junta with a "unilateral vision". They suspect it is seeking to "discredit and humiliate" its leaders by pushing them out of their homes in the name of a programme to recover state property, as it has just done with two prominent national figures.

Economic offences

A court for the repression of economic offences, set up by the authorities, has become an "instrument to disqualify troublesome political leaders", they say. These parties call for a "permanent framework for dialogue" to discuss the timeframe for the return of civilians to power. They demand respect for the law and "human dignity". They reserve the right to use all legal means, "including peaceful demonstrations", to obtain satisfaction, and ask the "people to be ready".

The military's seizure of power was welcomed by a population exasperated by poverty, corruption and the repression of the last few years of President Alpha Condé. However, six months later, it is the second statement in a few days to agitate the threat of demonstrations, after that of a collective that orchestrated months of protest in 2019-2020. This mobilisation had led to dozens of deaths, in a country accustomed to violent protests.

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