Guinean Opposition Leader Supports Military Coup

The leader of Guinea’s main opposition party, the United Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), said the September 5 coup in the country was justified because President Alpha Conde took office illegitimately after he changed the constitution to run for a third term.

Speaking to Mouab through an interpreter, Cellou Dalein Diallo said all the ailments of the Guinean people that the military junta has identified and condemned by his party.

Asked if he would personally join the unity government if the military asked him to, Diallo said personally he would not join the transitional government but would appoint members of his party to participate.

Diallo claimed to have won the October 2020 presidential election, but the election commission declared Conde the winner, and the Guinean Supreme Court upheld the results in favor of President Conde.

Diallo said he would run for president again in new elections.

The election follows a March 2020 constitutional referendum that paved the way for Conde, aged 83, to extend his term. The opposition says at least 21 people have been killed in protests against the referendum, in Nzerekore, Guinea’s second-largest city. The Guinean government has denied the allegations.

Conde won the 2010 and 2015 elections, but critics have called him increasingly authoritarian.

Diallo said he strongly recommended the fight against corruption and human rights abuses should be a top priority for the military government. He said the military junta should give victims of human rights violations a chance while the Conde government seeks justice.

The regional bloc ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has condemned the September 5 coup. When the group met Thursday (9/9) in an emergency meeting to discuss the military takeover of Guinea, Diallo hoped ECOWAS would help Guinea structure a transition process leading to free and fair elections. [my/jm]

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