Guinea Bissau President sacks cabinet

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The President of Guinea Bissau Jose Mario Vaz has sacked his government on Monday “with immediate effect,” creating doubts over next month’s election.

Mr Vaz said the decision, which was read out on national radio, was based on what he called a “serious political crisis” in the country, which had “prevented the normal operation of some institutions.”

The move comes days after Prime Minister Aristide Gomes denounced a coup attempt and police violently repressed an opposition protest.

One protester was killed on Saturday and several others were injured during a demonstration calling for a delay to the November 24 election.

The opposition wants the election delayed to give to time to clean up the election register to prevent voter fraud.

Mr Vaz, 62, has been in office since 2014 after he won a tight presidential contest that was decided in a run-off.

Analysts saw his win as a new start for a country that had known only coups and turmoil since the end of Portuguese rule in 1974.

Mr Vaz’s time in office has, however, seen a series of prime ministers come and go.

The 2015 sacking of then Prime Minister Domingo Simoes Pereira is seen to have sparked the current crisis.

Mr Vaz’s five-year mandate ended on June 23 but he is staying on temporarily under a mediation plan forged by the 15 nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

He will contest the next election as an independent candidate along with 11 other candidates.

 

Christopher Ojilere