Guinean military unveils charter for civilian transition

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The military leaders that seized power in the West African state of Guinea have unveiled a “transitional charter” that they say will steer the country back to civilian rule.

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The document, read out on national television, sets down a series of tasks, including the drafting of a new constitution and holding “free, democratic and transparent” elections, although it does not spell out how long the transition will last.

The new charter identifies four institutions or figures that will be in charge of the transition.

They are the National Rallying Committee for Development (CNRD) set up by the military and headed by Colonel Mahamady Doumbouya; the president of the transition, who will also serve as the head of the CNRD, head of state and armed forces chief; a government headed by a civilian prime minister; and a legislative body called the National Transition Council or CNT.

No member of these institutions will be allowed to take part “in either national or local elections, which will be organized at the end of the transition period”.

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The political situation in Guinea-Bissau is deeply concerning for the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

ECOWAS is demanding that elections be held within six months. The bloc also wants the military to release former president Alpha Conde who has not been seen in public since being removed from office.

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