West Africa: Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament Calls On Guineans to Maintain Peace Ahead of Polls

Guineans in the capital city of Conakry (file photo).

The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Hon Sidie Mohamed Tunis has called on citizens in neighboring Guinea to refrain from violence and engage in a frank dialogue ahead of October 18 presidential election.

The Speaker was addressing parliamentarians at the opening of the First Ordinary Session of Guinea Parliament on Monday October 5, 2020.

"At the moment, the most important issue at stake is the peace and stability of the Republic of Guinea. Political differences are unique to any democracy, but they must not degenerate into disruption of public order, incitement to revolt and violence, as well as disregard for the rule of law," the Speaker warns.

The Speaker reemphasized ECOWAS' position, and called on political rivals to refrain from violence and engage in a frank dialogue.

He added that Violence was not a way forward in a democratic political process and that it should be discouraged on all sides of the political spectrum.

He expressed optimism that authorities would see an inclusive dialogue as the way forward and engage the political process with a sober reflection of the past.

He added that the rising fears of political unrest in the buildup to the presidential elections were triggered by claims and counter claims from different sides of the divide.

"The ECOWAS Parliament, with its rich experience of mediation, stands ready to provide valuable assistance to help this Assembly in particular and the people of Guinea in general, engage meaningfully in the ensuing dialogues surrounding the perceived tension", he added.

He noted that whatever affects the Republic of Guinea has a direct effect on the regional bloc and his home country Sierra Leone that directly shares boundary with it.

He added that "This is not the Guinea we want now and certainly not the Guinea we want for our children. A threat to Guinea's peace is a threat to regional peace. Remember the African proverb that says "You cannot sleep in peace when your neighbor's house is on fire". We must do all we can to keep Guinea peaceful, stable and prosperous".

He however admonished Guineans to work together in securing justice for every citizen and stay true to their motto of "Work, Justice, Solidarity"

He encouraged the parliamentarians to work in the interest of the people as they have elected them into office because they trust that they we will meet their aspirations.

Over the past few months, the West African nation has been hit by rolling anti-government demonstrations over constitutional reform amid opposition fears that President Alpha Conde, who has been in office since 2010 will seek to extend his constitutional mandate.

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