On Wednesday, Ghanaian presidency, Nana Akufo-Addo received a delegation of three members of the Guinean military junta, the National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD), at Jubilee House, Accra.
The delegation, led by Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly, second-in-command of the CNRD, was at the Ghanaian Presidency to brief President Akufo-Addo, chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, on the roadmap that has been put in place to ensure a smooth transition and return to democratic and constitutional rule in Guinea, according to the Ghanaian Presidency statement.
In his address, Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly told the President that ten days of consultations with key stakeholders in Guinea had led to the drafting and adoption of a new Transitional Charter, which reinforces the determination of the military leadership to return the country to civilian rule.
According to him, the Charter emphasized, in particular, that members of the transition will not be able to run for President or parliament, adding that a civilian prime minister would head the transitional government.
Colonel Koulibaly also noted that the CNRD understands and accepts the decisions taken and the sanctions imposed on Guinea by the Authority. However, he called on ECOWAS to take into account the particular circumstances that led to the events of September 5, 2021.
Regarding the holding of presidential and legislative elections within the six months provided for by ECOWAS for the return to democratic rule, the delegation asked the Authority to reconsider its decision, as Guinea did not have the capacity to do so within the stipulated period.
He explained that the military leadership had decided to conduct a nationwide census, restructure the electoral code, and establish a new electoral body to hold free and fair elections.
For his part, President Akufo-Addo reiterated ECOWAS’ unreserved condemnation of the coup d’état, as it was in contravention of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, which requires that political power be acquired by ballot and not by a bullet.
Taking cognizance of the newly adopted Transitional Charter, the ECOWAS President suggested that it was a step in the right direction and was encouraged by the decision of the CNRD to regularly inform the ECOWAS Heads of State Conference on the progress of the transition process.
President Akufo-Addo was unequivocal on the timetable for holding elections, saying six months was sufficient for such an exercise. He assured the Guinean leadership of ECOWAS’ commitment to helping redesign the electoral process by providing technical support to Guinea.
President Akufo-Addo stressed the need for Guinea’s military leaders to heed the decisions of the Authority, as the full weight of the international community strongly supports any decision taken by ECOWAS.
On the controversial case of the arrest of President Alpha Conde, the ECOWAS President expressed concern over his continued detention, physical safety, and inability to express his basic human rights. To this end, President Akufo-Addo reiterated ECOWAS’ demand for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde.