Guinea Bissau president dissolves parliament after clashes

Guinea Bissau's President Umaro Sissoco Embalo attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin following the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 29, 2023. Sergei Bobylyov/TASS Host Photo Agency via REUTERS
Guinea Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo

Guinea-Bissau president dissolves Parliament after clashes. Guinea-Bissau (Gb) In a proclamation issued on Monday, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo dismissed Parliament. In the decree, he accused the administration of being inactive in the face of the violence that occurred the previous week, which he saw as an attempt at a coup.

As a result of his action, the fragile West African nation was left without a lawmaking body for the second time since he came to power in the year 2020, which raises the possibility of future unrest. According to him, new elections will be held at a time in the future that has not been determined.

Domingos Simoes Pereira, president of the Parliament and the chairman of the PAIGC party that gained a majority in legislative elections in June, was one of his primary competitors, and he instantly condemned the declaration as illegal. He was one of his key competitors.

A group of several dozen individuals gathered in front of the national Parliament to voice their disapproval of the choice made by the president. They expressed their frustration with the process of electing new legislators.

On Thursday night, fighting broke out between two different army factions in Bissau, and it continued on Friday. This occurred after troops from the National Guard released an opposition minister who had been imprisoned in connection with an inquiry into corruption.

“The actions of members of the National Guard, when confronted with the passivity of the Government, constituted an attempt to subvert the constitutional order,” Embalo stated.

“Faced with this attempted coup d’état … and the existence of strong evidence of political complicity, the normal functioning of the Republic’s institutions became unsustainable,” said the politician.

His attempts to push through a constitutional amendment that would have allowed him to consolidate power by abolishing the semi-presidential system were called off due to the majority that the PAIGC party received in the referendum in June.

Using an item that states that Parliament cannot be dissolved less than a year after it has been voted in, Pereira stated that the decree was illegal and cited the text as evidence.

Since Guinea-Bissau became independent from Portugal in 1974, it has been plagued by coups and turmoil. At the very least, six individuals lost their lives in February 2022 when an effort was made to topple Embalo but was unsuccessful. Last week’s conflicts resulted in the deaths of two people.

In the current political system, the party or coalition with the majority of seats appoints the government; however, the president has the authority to remove the government from office in certain circumstances, frequently leading to a political impasse.

Those who serve in the military report to the president, whereas those who serve in the National Guard report to Parliament.

In addition, Embalo dissolved Parliament in May 2022, citing several difficulties, including allegations of corruption against lawmakers.


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