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Updated Jul 2, 2020
A man stands in front of a sign of opposition Presidential candidate Umaro Sissoco Embalo in Bissau, on December 27, 2019, ahead of the second round of the presidential elections. Voters in Guinea-Bissau are being called out to cast their ballots in a presidential runoff on December 29, capping a year of turmoil in the poor, coup-prone West African state. After months of acrimony, people are being asked to choose between two former prime ministers -- Domingos Simoes Pereira, from the traditional ruling PAIGC party, and opposition figure Umaro Sissoco Embalo. SEYLLOU / AFP
A man stands in front of a campaign poster featuring then presidential candidate Umaro Sissoco Embaló in Bissau, on December 27, 2019, ahead of the second round of the presidential election. (Seyllou/AFP)

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.

 

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