Guinea-Bissau conducts parliamentary elections amid political impasse.


Guinea-Bissau voters will go to the elections on Sunday, more than a year after President Umaro Sissoco Embalo dissolved parliament over corruption charges.

Since its independence from Portugal in 1974, the West African country of over 2 million people has seen recurring political turmoil, including at least ten coups or failed coups.

In the elections on Sunday, more than 20 political parties and coalitions will vie for seats, including the former ruling PAIGC party and its challenger MADEM G15.  Because of the fractured playing field, analysts and politicians are doubtful of a clear majority emerging.

In these elections, no candidate will get a majority of the vote. Nuno Gomes Nabiam, the Prime Minister, has said unequivocally that this is not conceivable. In Guinea-Bissau, “no party is ready to govern alone.”

The government is currently selected by the ruling party or coalition, however, the president maintains the authority to dismiss them under certain situations. This has previously resulted in political deadlock and fighting.

The country’s mangrove forests and Atlantic islands are renowned tourist sites, but they also serve as a stopover for cocaine traffickers traveling north.

Over two-thirds of households depend on cashew nut prices for a living, putting the economy subject to fluctuations in the commodity’s value.

Political conflicts are common. Due to disputed elections in 2019, the nation was controlled by two presidents and two prime ministers for a brief period of time.

Gunmen stormed a government compound where Embalo was holding a cabinet meeting in February of last year, aiming to destabilize his administration. Embalo, who remained in power, blamed the tragedy on the country’s growing drug trade.

When the former army commander deposed the government in May 2022, he further destabilized the country and put down municipal elections by many months.


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