Tension in Guinea-Bissau as sacked PM refuses to leave office

Guinea-Bissau on map

President Jose Vaz of Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday named a new prime minister but his sacked predecessor refused to step down, intensifying a bitter power struggle between Mr Vaz and the ruling party weeks ahead of a presidential election.

Mr Vaz, who is running again in the November 24 poll, dissolved the government late on Monday, saying the political situation was undermining the normal functioning of state institutions in the country.

It has suffered repeated bouts of instability since it became independent from Portugal in 1974, including nine coups or attempted coups.

And also a surge in cocaine trafficking from South America that has been linked to senior military officials.

The country has been largely peaceful since Mr Vaz came to power in a 2014 election that followed a coup two years earlier.

But he has repeatedly clashed over the balance of power in the semi-presidential system with a string of prime ministers put forward by the African Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which controls a majority in parliament.

In a decree, Mr Vaz named as prime minister Faustino Fudut Imbali, who served in the same post from 2000-2003 and represents the small Manifest Party of the People.

Gomes, who was put forward for the job by PAIGC, said he was refusing to go: “I am in my office, working.”

Gomes said Mr Vaz’s orders were illegitimate since the president’s term technically expired on June 23.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS declared a few days later that Mr Vaz could stay in office through to the November election.

Mr Vaz won the 2014 presidential election as the PAIGC’s candidate but fell out with the party after sacking his prime minister in 2015.

He is now running for re-election as an independent candidate.

In a rare political protest, demonstrations from a party opposed to Gomes’s government took to the streets of the capital Bissau at the weekend, demanding the election be postponed so that voter lists could be checked for irregularities.

One protester died on Saturday and several were wounded, according to the government, a hospital source and march organisers.

Instability in Guinea-Bissau has typically taken the form of military coups, led by officers drawn mostly from a narrow military elite who fought for independence from 1963 to 1974.



PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.