Ousted Guinea PM says backs coup leader

Guinea's new military rulers were endorsed by the deposed prime minister on Thursday.

Ousted Guinea PM says backs coup leader
Former Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare said he and other members of the government overthrown after the death of President Lansana Conte earlier this week were ready to work with the coup leaders in the West African country.

"Mr President, members of the National Council for Democracy and Development, we thank you and we put ourselves at your disposal," he told junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, in comments broadcast by Radio France International.

Camara was chosen on Wednesday as leader of Guinea, the world's biggest exporter of aluminium ore bauxite, but he said he would not stand for president in elections promised in two years.

Earlier on Thursday Souare and several of his ministers reported to the Alpha Yaya Diallo military base in the capital's suburbs, as instructed by the junta, which late on Wednesday replaced regional chiefs appointed by the late President Lansana Conte with military commanders.

"I do not have the ambition of being a candidate at the presidential elections," Camara said in comments broadcast by Radio France International.

"I have never had the ambition of power."

Guinea's civilian leader, National Assembly President Aboubacar Sompare, who under the constitution should have taken over as interim head of state, has appealed to the international community to prevent the coup from succeeding.

The soldiers who mounted the coup, calling themselves the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), appeared unopposed in their control of Conakry three days after Conte's death from illness.

Senior military officers who also met with the CNDD gave their backing to the takeover, the Guinean web site www.guineenews.org reported.

Camara said his administration would attempt to fight the corruption he said had become endemic under Conte's rule.

"The government did not do what it had to," he told state television. "It did not deserve the confidence of the nation."

Many businesses were closed in Conakry on Thursday and soldiers patrolled the streets, though roadside vendors were working as normal and people and cars moved freely.

"We have come out because we can't stay at home and we hope the situation will stabilise," said Souleymane Bah, a car mechanic in the capital.


Reuters
Last Mod: 26 Aralık 2008, 13:48
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