Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who led last month’s coup in Guinea, was sworn in as interim president on Friday and vowed to honor all of the West African state’s international commitments.
Doumbouya, who spearheaded the ouster of President Alpha Conde on September 5, was sworn in by Chief Justice Mamadou Sylla for a transition period of unspecified duration.
The new interim president spoke of his “commitment” that neither he nor any member of the junta will stand in future elections that the military has promised to organize after a transition period.
His administration’s mission is to “re-found the state,” he said, drafting a new constitution, fighting corruption, reforming the electoral system and then organizing “free, credible and transparent” elections.
Again, he said nothing at the time of his oath about how long he will remain the interim leader.
The new president also promised to “respect all the national and international commitments that the country has signed.”
Wearing a beige dress uniform, red beret and dark glasses, the new national leader also promised to “loyally preserve national sovereignty” and “consolidate democratic achievements, guarantee the independence of the homeland and the integrity of the national territory.”
The ceremony was held at the Mohammed-V Palace in Conakry on the eve of a public holiday celebrating the 1958 declaration of independence from France.
Doumbouya will serve as transitional president until the country returns to civilian rule, according to a plan presented by the board on Monday that does not mention a timeline.
The September 5 coup, the latest outbreak of turbulence in one of Africa’s most volatile countries, saw the 83-year-old President Conde ousted.
Conde became the first democratically elected president of Guinea in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.
But last year he pushed for a controversial new constitution that allowed him to run for a third term in October 2020.
The move sparked mass demonstrations in which dozens of protesters were killed. Conde won reelection, but the political opposition argued that the poll was a sham.
The “letter” presented on Monday promises that a new constitution will be drawn up and “free, democratic and transparent” elections will be held, but does not specify how long the transition will last.
The document says that the transitional president will be “head of state and supreme head of the armed forces … (and) determines the policies of the Nation,” with the power to appoint and fire an interim prime minister.
However, the president will not be able to be a candidate in the elections that will take place after the transition, he says.
The turbulence in the former French colony has caused deep concern among Guinea’s neighbors.
The coup is the second to occur in the region, after Mali, in less than 13 months.
The region’s bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is demanding elections to be held within six months, as well as Conde’s release.