Court fixes 19TH March 2020 to rule on measures requested by Guinean parties relating to a referendum to change the constitution

The ECOWAS Court of Justice will on 19th March 2020 rule on whether to grant provisional measures in a case brought by the leader of opposition in Guinea against the proposed referendum by the government of Guinea for a new constitution that will allow the president to contest after completing the mandatory two terms under the country’s constitution.

The Court will also decide, after it heard the arguments of the parties on Thursday, 12th March 2020, on the propriety or otherwise of joining the ECOWAS Commission and the 14 other Member States in the suit filed by Mamadou Cellou Diallo, 46 other members of parliament and 4 members of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of civil societies and opposition political parties.

In the suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/14/20, the plaintiffs contend that if government proceeds to change the constitution before the Court rules on the question of law before it, their right to political alternation will be irreparably jeopardized.

The plaintiffs are also asking the Court to “recognize the illegality of the popular consultation scheduled for March 1, since no text of Guinean law or Community Law authorize the coupling of an electoral operation and a referendum to change the Constitution.”

They are also asking the Court to order the postponement of the scheduled popular consultations to allow for the inclusive participation of all political actors and the conduct of free, transparent and credible elections.

Moreover the plaintiffs are urging the Court to order the government to refrain from undertaking any maneuver that will infringe on their rights.

In addition, they asked the Court to order the disjunction of the legislative elections from operations linked to the referendum envisaged by the president. 

Counsel for the State of Guinea and the Director of Legal Affairs of ECOWAS Commission, both objected to the applications for provisional measures and expedited hearing.

On the panel of the Court are Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante, (presiding) and Justices Gberi-be Ouattara and Keikura Bangura.