President sacks Guinea-Bissau’s entire government

13 May 16

Guinea-Bissau’s president has sacked the country’s prime minister and his entire government in a move that threatens to exacerbate the already tumultuous political climate.

Ministries in the country have been placed under the control of security forces since yesterday and president José Mario Váz, the country’s first elected leader since an army mutiny in 2012, has demanded the country’s ruling party choose a new cabinet.

In a national address broadcast on the country’s radio and TV stations, Váz said this was a chance for the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) to “prove that they place greater importance on the nation and the people over the personal interests of their group or party”.

Guinea-Bissau has not seen a democratically elected leader serve a full term since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974.

Prime minister Carlos Correia, who was fired by president Váz yesterday, was appointed in October in an attempt to end political chaos triggered by an internal row in PAIGC.

At the time, he was the third person to take the post in three months.

The chair of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said she was deeply concerned by president Váz’s dissolution of the government.

She called on all involved to “exercise restraint, uphold the country’s interest and preserve peace and stability”.

“Only a genuine and inclusive dialogue, based on the respect of the country’s constitution, will enable Guinea-Bissau to find a consensual solution to the crisis facing their country,” she said in a statement.

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