Guinea-Bissau’s president has once again plunged the country into a deep political crisis

Parliament was dissolved, and the military seized state television and radio. However, the President of Parliament refuses to accept the dissolution and speaks of an “institutional coup”. Another one.

Following clashes between security forces on Thursday and Friday, Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoko Mbalo announced the dissolution of parliament this Monday, justifying the decision with a severe institutional crisis in the country. The parliament was dissolved after the country elected a new parliament last June – an unexpectedly successful election campaign and an example of systemic normalization of the political environment from the African country by international observers. .

Recall that in June, the Terra Ranga coalition led by the PAI (Platform of Inclusive Alliance) – PAIGC was invited by Umaro Sisoko Mbalo to form a government after winning an absolute majority in the elections. The executive committee was not held under the chairmanship of party leader Domingos Simos Pereira – because Mbalo had promised not to invite him. The leadership of the government ended up in the hands of Geraldo Martins. According to international agencies, Sissoko reappointed Mbalo Geraldo Martins as prime minister, who will now hold the functions of finance minister and secretary of the treasury. “I renewed his confidence. He has the full powers of the president until a new government is formed,” Sisoko Mbalo said. “I realized that parliament is always a center of instability; Let’s invite people because people are sovereign to make decisions. That is the only path and the only path we can follow,” he declared, at the end of the Council of State, which, according to Deutsche Welle, lasted only a few minutes.

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It is worth remembering that one of the priorities of the new parliament is to end the presidential nature of the regime, bringing more executive and political decision-making powers to the elected legislature. In June, Teresa Damasio, the executive of Grupo Encinas, who has deep knowledge of the African country’s reality, told JE that the main priority of the new executive was the revision of the constitution – in the sense of removing the attributes of the president. One of the factors destabilizing the country.

And this crisis may not be unrelated to the fact that 2024 will be a presidential election year. “Until then, this will be one of the priorities: to ensure that the regime does not become presidential”, said Teresa Damasio.

The President acknowledged that the law did not allow for the holding of an election yet to determine the one-year period between election events. “We have suspended the constitution of the republic, we have suspended all institutions, and there is still a military council or military council,” he declared.

PAIGC’s President and Parliament Speaker Domingos Simos Pereira has the opposite view, saying the country is “in the presence of a disruption of the democratic order”. “The Constitution states that a legally constituted National People’s Assembly cannot be dissolved within its first twelve months. So, regardless of the mechanism used for this purpose, we are in the presence of a disruption of the democratic order, if this is not a constitutional coup, I don’t know what is,” he said. He told reporters in Parliament. “It is the responsibility of the National People’s Congress (ANP) to continue its historic mandate in this legislature. must, it cannot depend on the will of a person or a group, but must be in accordance with the provisions of the law and respected by all”, he said, as quoted by DW.

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However, after the president’s announcement, state television and radio were occupied by “heavily armed military personnel” and staff were evacuated from the facilities, Lusa said.

At dawn and on Friday morning, the Presidential Guard Battalion and the Military Police attacked the National Guard command to remove Economy and Finance Minister Suleiman Seidi and Treasury Secretary of State Antonio Monteiro. The two were arrested at the behest of the state attorney’s office, which is investigating as part of the debt settlement process for 11 companies. The two rulers were taken back to the PJ cells and following the events, the corporation commander Colonel Vitor Tsongo and some elements were detained, according to the press.

The last time Guinea-Bissau faced an institutional crisis was in February 2022. At the time, the Portuguese president’s official website said on the Internet that “the president condemns the attack on the government palace in Pisa.” According to the memo, Marcelo Rebelo de Souza, “following the situation in Bissau step by step and with concern, had already spoken to President Sissoko Mbalo on the phone, to whom he expressed his strong condemnation. The Portuguese Government and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), for these attacks on the constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau”. This time there was no mention of it.

At the end of last October, Rebelo de Sousa was awarded the Grand Collar of the Order of Infante de Portugal, the highest title of the Portuguese order. He decorated a guinea named Henrik. Political parties.

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