Guinea-Bissau : Two Presidents, Two Prime Ministers

The political landscape in Guinea-Bissau seems to be more and more complicated as the country since February 29, 2020, has two Presidents and two Prime Ministers, after Umaro Cissoko Embalo, declared winner of December’s election took the oath of office on Thursday, February 27, 2020 and also swore in former presidential opponent Nuno Nabiam as his new Prime Minister. 

But the runner-up Domingos Simoes Pereira, whose PAIGC party holds the most seats in parliament, says the inauguration was illegitimate as the Supreme Court was still considering his party’s request to annul the vote over alleged irregularities. To counter the move the PAIGC lawmakers on Friday voted parliament leader Cipriano Cassama as interim president and Aristides Gomes as Prime Minister. The same evening Embalo issued a decree sacking the PAIGC veteran Aristides Gomes and his government. 

“The country has passed recent years in a state of un-governability, bad governance and general corruption. Today’s ceremony marks the start of a new era.” Embalo said during the ceremony without making reference to his stand-off with parliament.

On December 29, 2019, the two former prime ministers went head-to-head to determine who will become Guinea Bissau’s next president after the November 24 election failed to produce an outright winner. After the vote, the National Electoral Commission (CNE), said Mr Umaro Cissoco Embalo of the Movement for Democratic Alternative (Madem-G 15) won 53.55% of the votes and against Domingos Simoes Pereira’s PAIGC with 46.45%.

ECOWAS, which has congratulated Mr Umaro Sissoco Embaló over his victory, added it will keep supporting authorities and Guinea Bissau citizens in efforts to consolidate democracy and promote peace and stability essentials for the socio-economic development. The African Union and United States have also congratulated Mr Umaro Sissoco Embaló over his victory after the re-run presidential elections.

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