by Aly Jonas

Guinea: Mamady Doumbouya sets up a “shadow government”

Guinée : Mamady Doumbouya met en place un « gouvernement de l’ombre »

The president of the Guinean transition Mamady Doumbouya and his Prime Minister Mohamed Béavogui no longer get along. To reduce the power of the latter, Doumbouya set up an “Office for monitoring presidential priorities”.

According to several observers, the heavy sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Mali were intended, in particular, to discourage the military authorities in Guinea from any attempt to extend their mandate.

Mamady Doumbouya, current president of the transition, decided in December that it would take two years to reach elections. Conakry has just convened the political parties, who were invited to participate in a “meeting on the transition” . Talks which would have lasted only three hours, at the end of which political leaders emerged happy - the leader of the party of the overthrown president Alpha Condé in particular - and others much less, namely the opposition parties.

However, the National Rally Committee for Development (CNRD), a conglomerate of military officers supporting Mamady Doumbouya's putsch, benefited from real support from the civilian political opposition, just after the coup in Guinea.

The end of the honeymoon between Doumbouya and Béavogui

The day after the ECOWAS summit on December 12, the first tensions appeared between Mamady Doumbouya and his civilian Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui. The announcement, during the famous summit, of the extension of the transition by two years angered the optimists who had offered a certain legitimacy to Doumbouya's takeover. Among these former supporters, civilians in the government, notably Béavogui and Foreign Minister Morissada Kouyaté.

On December 13, the CNRD announced that it was “the sole person responsible for setting up the transitional bodies”. In particular the appointment of the 81 members of the National Transition Council (CNT), which will organize the next elections.

A few days later, reports Jeune Afrique, Mohamed Béavogui said he was dismayed by the decision to rename the Conakry-Gbessia airport, now called Ahmed Sékou Touré. An uncle of Béavogui died in detention under the Sékou Touré regime in 1977.

A series of unilateral decisions which go against the image that Mamady Doumbouya seeks to project. The latter, seeking to take advantage of the Malian context - President Assimi Goïta is very popular in Mali - tried to follow in the latter's footsteps to consolidate his hold on Guinea.

But Doumbouya is not Goïta. The Guinean president is considered more brutal and less consensual. And where Goïta is criticized internationally, he is gradually losing the support of civilians in his own country.

The BSPP, a government in place of the government

And it is not his last decision that will restore his popularity. In a presidential decree published on the evening of Monday January 10, Mamady Doumboya established the “Office for Monitoring Presidential Priorities (BSPP)”. “It is nothing more and nothing less than a shadow government, endowed with extensive powers,” summarizes a Guinea specialist. This group will be appointed directly by Doumbouya and will have control over the government budget. He will also monitor “the execution of priority programs”. A way for Mamady Doumbouya to announce, without saying it, that he is bringing his government into line.

It is difficult not to make the connection between these surprising decisions of Mamady Doumbouya, and his recent rapprochement with Colonel Amara Camara, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency. Grandson of Diarra Camara, the former chief of staff of Lansana Conté, and spokesperson for the CNRD, Camara was parachuted into the Guinean political landscape and has, in recent times, been weaving his web.

Amara Camara was also at the center of the dispute between the CNRD and the government over the departure of Justice Minister Fatoumata Soumah.

So many events which show that the Guinean junta is trying to organize a country totally abandoned by the former president. The new president must redress a disastrous economic situation in Guinea due to the political choices of Alpha Condé.