In Guinea, the political climate has relaxed for 48 hours. The day before yesterday, Monday 27 June, the Prime Minister and the opposition met for the first time since the beginning of the year in Conakry. Does this mean that Colonel Doumbouya’s military regime, which took power in September last year, will give up on the Cédéaode summit next Sunday? Not so simple, says Guinean political scientist Saïkou Oumar Baldé, who heads Guinea’s CERF Research Center and teaches at Sonfonia University in Conakry. He answers questions from Christophe Boisbouvier.
RFI: Since the beginning of the year, legal proceedings against political class leaders have multiplied. Is there a will on the part of the CNRD soldiers? [le Comité national du rassemblement pour le développement] to eliminate the political leaders from the stage before the next presidential election?
Saikou Oumar Balde: The soldiers were very clear from the beginning that there would be no candidates, not just from the government or from members of the CNRD. But a number of political parties, such as the UFDG [L’Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée] of Cellou Dalein Diallothe largest opposition party at the time of Alpha Condé, and the UFR [L’Union des forces républicaines] from Sidya Touré, would feel that these legal proceedings in any way aimed at eliminating them from the race for power.
What guarantees that Colonel Doumbouya will not be a candidate in three years?
At the moment, we have to stick to talking, in words, because we do not have enough guarantees. We are seeing what is happening in Mali, especially with the adoption of the electoral law, we are also waiting for the Guinean texts that could register these guarantees in these texts. But I believe that the framework for dialogue opened on Monday by Prime Minister Mohamed Béavogui will allow these political parties to express themselves and, above all, ask for guarantees for the next election.
Since May 10 and despite everything that opposes them, RPG [le Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée] by Alpha Condé and UFDG [l’Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée] by Cellou Dalein Diallo was reconciled on the backs of CNRD soldiers. Is it not worrying for Colonel Doumbouya?
Admittedly, there are alliances that are created gradually, but at the same time defections of alliances. I just want to point out that the framework for dialogue that opened on Monday [27 juin] of the president really mobilized the main political opposition parties. In addition to the fact that there is a large absence, RPG Arc-en-ciel, who did not want to participate in this dialogue by demanding that certain prisoners in this political party be released. But a political alliance of these major parties is still worrying for the CNRD, given that the military relies much more on internal mobilization to deal with sanctions, for example from ECOWAS. Internal pressure from local actors currently seems to be the most effective way to put pressure on the regime.
Unlike Burkina Faso and Mali, Guinea Conakry has access to the sea, is this the reason why CNRD soldiers oppose the pressure from ECOWAS?
No, it has nothing to do, because despite the claims about Guinea’s ability to mobilize enough resources to exit the transition without the help of ECOWAS, it is still clear that any sanction taken against Guinea would exacerbate the country’s difficulties, especially at the economic level. . We saw it last week with the lack of fuel, so any sanction from ECOWAS would further aggravate the population’s difficulties.
And this new framework for dialogue between the government and the opposition since Monday, is it a coincidence that it falls a few days before the Cédéaode summit next Sunday? [3 juillet] ?
For me, the calendar for this meeting on 27 June is not related to the ECOWAS summit on 3 July, but in my opinion it follows the threat from FNDC [le Front National pour la Défense de la Constitution] to organize a demonstration on Thursday. It is important to specify that the framework for dialogue launched this Monday, 27 June is not a direct response to the request from ECOWAS, but follows the threats from FNDC, Anti Third Term Front launched by a number of civil society organizations, which continue to set pressure on the regime.
Are CNRD soldiers more sensitive to internal pressure than to international pressure?
Absolutely, because the CNRD soldiers know that with the support of the population, it is easier to confront ECOWAS and international institutions than if the internal forces are demobilized.