Guinea's Prime Minister Amadou Oury Bah says several challenges are preventing a swift return to civilian rule. / Photo: Guinean government 

Guinea's new prime minister has suggested the generals who seized power in a 2021 coup will delay a return to civilian rule until at least 2025.

Amadou Oury Bah, appointed by the military two weeks ago, is the first high-ranking official to indicate the junta may fail to meet their pledge to hand over power by the end of 2024.

Regional bloc the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had pressured the military to organise elections before the end of the year.

But it looked increasingly unlikely this would happen, given a lack of progress towards a power transfer and a turbulent domestic situation.

'Many challenges'

"There are a lot of contingencies," the prime minister told Radio France International in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

"In a context of economic, financial fragility we have to work to stabilise and ease the political situation to have the possibility to look at and follow the stages of a calendar in relative calm".

"So, the aim is to complete that and I think 2025 is a good period to crown the whole process," he added.

Oury Bah said the West African nation faced "many challenges linked to disastrous circumstances".

'Struggling to make ends meet'

He referred to the explosion at the country's main oil depot which killed 25 people in December and severely disrupted economic activity.

The prime minister also said the situation was aggravated by inflation and its "impact on the lives of Guineans who are struggling to make ends meet."

Guinea, which is poor despite considerable mineral and natural resources, has endured regular fuel shortages and power cuts.

A general strike last month demanded lower food prices, an end to media censorship and the release of a journalist.

Transition period

It was the first such move under the ruling junta, which has banned demonstrations and muzzled critics.

General Mamady Doumbouya has ruled Guinea since overthrowing the country's first democratically elected president, Alpha Conde, in September 2021.

Under international pressure, the junta promised to hand the reins of government back to elected civilians by the end of 2024 after a so-called transitional period.

The new prime minister reiterated the argument that far-reaching reforms were needed to end a state of chronic instability.

'Some delays'

"Guinea needs appeasement, it needs a profound easing of tension," Oury Bah said, admitting there would be "some delays."

A referendum to change the constitution is expected to be held by the end of the year, the prime minister said.

"The other electoral processes will follow," he added.

The prime minister denied the regime was seeking to hang on to power, saying: "The leadership running Guinea wants Guinea to be a normal country again."


West Africa has been rocked by a string of military coups since 2020.

Mali's ruling junta has failed to honour its pledge to leave power at the beginning of 2024, while the military rulers in Burkina Faso have said holding previously promised summer elections is not a "priority."

After seizing power in July 2023, Niger's military declared an approximately three-year transition period, but has not since returned to this pledge.

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