Guinea Bissau's Embaló takes oath of office despite pending case

Friday February 28 2020

Guinea Bissau's Umaro Sissoco Embaló.

Guinea Bissau's Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who took oath of office on February 27, 2020 despite a pending court ruling on an election petition against his win. PHOTO | FILE | AFP  

ARNALDO VIEIRA
By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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Guinea Bissau’s Umaro Sissoco Embaló on Thursday took an oath of office to become president, despite a pending election petition against his win.

It is illegal to swear himself in before the election case is concluded. The Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) is yet to rule on whether he was validly elected.

In January this year, the National Electoral Commission (CNE) declared Mr Embaló winner of the December 29, 2019 re-run for garnering 53.55 percent of the vote. He ran on the Movement for Democratic Alternative (Madem-G 15) ticket. 

The CNE said Mr Domingos Simões Pereira, the African Party for Guinea and Cape Vert Independence (PAIGC) candidate, garnered 46.45 percent of the votes.

Mr Pereira filed a petition challenging Mr Embaló’s win.

Mr Embaló and Mr Pereira, both former prime ministers, went head to head on December 29 to determine who will become Guinea Bissau’s next president after the November 24 election failed to produce an outright winner.

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Thousands of supporters attended Mr Embaló’s inauguration at the country’s presidency where he has taken over from José Mário Vaz.

During his presidential inauguration speech Mr Embaló pledged to be a president of all Guineans and restore the state authority in the country.

Country’s armed soldiers patrolled main roads of the capital Bissau along with Ecomib, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) military force.

The country’s Attorney-General Ladislau Embassa and retired General António Indjai, former army commander in chief and head of the 2012 cup d’état, also attended the ceremony.

While the swearing-in was taking place, Prime Minister Aristides Gomes met ambassadors accredited in the country and international community representatives at the government palace and reiterated that Mr Embaló’s inauguration was a coup d’état.

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