The alliance that supports Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who was declared the winner of the second-round presidential election in Guinea-Bissau in December despite the main opposition contesting the legitimacy of his election victory, has achieved a crucial parliamentary majority.
During a congressional session boycotted by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which held an absolute majority of 54 seats out of 102 after legislative elections held in March 2019, Embaló was able to formalize a new alliance and implement Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam’s governance program.
In April, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) formally recognized Embaló as the duly elected leader of Guinea-Bissau in an effort to help the country resolve the post-election crisis. At the same time, ECOWAS stressed the need to immediately start the reform process for a new constitution, to be put to a referendum within six months.
The new president’s victory in parliament comes just two days after he fired five cabinet ministers without any explanation. According to Reuters, they were all members of Embaló’s Madem G15 party or parties loyal to him.
Guinea-Bissau has often been called a narco state
PAIGC leader Domingos Simões Pereira, a former prime minister and presidential candidate in the last election, has pledged that his PAIGC party will continue to resist Embaló’s rule while also pursuing a pathway to stabilize Guinea-Bissau. The country has often been called a narco state due to the high volume of illegal drugs that pass through it, stemming from prolonged political and security instability.