Guinea names Mamadou Oury Bah as prime minister


Special forces commander Mamady Doumbouya walks out after meeting the envoys from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to discuss ways to steer Guinea back toward a constitutional regime in Conakry, Guinea on September 10, 2021. PHOTO | REUTERS

Transitional authorities in junta-led Guinea have appointed one-time opposition leader and economist Mamadou Oury Bah to the role of prime minister, according to a decree read on national television on Tuesday.

The political veteran faces a challenging task setting up a government amid an indefinite general strike launched this week over deep economic hardships and the military authorities' allegedly repressive policies.

Television footage showed Bah taking the oath of office in front of interim President Mamady Doumbouya, a special forces commander who ousted former president Alpha Conde in a coup in 2021.

Bah, commonly known as Bah Oury, has been a prominent figure on the Guinean political scene since the early nineties. He served as minister of reconciliation in a consensus government in the wake of a political crisis triggered by the killing of at least 130 people in union-led protests in 2007.

The founder and vice president of the UFDG party later spent four years in exile in France, during which time he was convicted in absentia for a 2011 assassination attempt against Conde.

He returned to Guinea in 2016 following a presidential pardon but was later pushed out of UFDG. In recent years, he has faced criticism for his support of the junta.