Friday, February 11, 2005

Denouncing a 'constitutional hold up' or angling for his own future

One of the more intriguing comments on the Togolese situation [see most of my posts from this week] came from Aboubacar Somparé, leader of Guinea's ruling PUP party.

"The deliberate vagueness put in place in Togo in order to give a semblance of legitimacy to this constitutional hold up should be cause for indignation of the entire African and international community. It would be desirable if this brother country would return immediately to constitutional legality."

Ironic, since the 2001 referendum which eliminated the two-term limit on the presidency of PUP standard bearer Gen. Lansana Conté was also denounced as a constitutional hold up... by the Guinean opposition.

Somparé's comments are even more interesting when you consider that he is also president of Guinea's National Assembly. When the ailing Gen. Conté eventually dies, the Guinean constitution mandates that the presidency be filled by... the president of the National Assembly.

Then again, when Guinea's first dictator, Sékou Touré, died in 1984, he should have constitutionally been succeeded by the prime minister.

A military coup (the old-fashioned undisguised version) took place a week later.

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