Two former Guinea Bissau PMs set for presidential vote re-run

Wednesday November 27 2019

Guinea Bissau's president Jose Mario Vaz

Guinea Bissau's president Jose Mario Vaz waves as he gets ready to cast his vote at a polling station in Bissau, on November 24, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN WESSELS | AFP 

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Two former prime ministers will go 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.

Provisional results released by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) on Wednesday showed Domingos Simões Pereira, 56, of the ruling African Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) secured 40.13 per cent of the vote.

He was followed at a distant by Umaro Sissoco Embaló, 47, of the main opposition party MADEM-G15 with 27.65 per cent as Mr Nuno Nabiam came thirds with 13.6 per cent.

About 750,000 voters took part in the presidential election in the country of 1.6 million people recently plagued by political instability, drug running and corruption.
Former President José Mário Vaz was fourth with 12.41 per cent of the votes in an election supervised by the Economic Community of West African States after he sacked the validly elected prime-minister Aristides Gomes on October 29.

He replaced him with his ally Faustino Imbali, stoking a pre-poll crisis that forced Ecowas to back Gomes, who also accused Embalo of plotting a coup.

President Vaz will become the first democratically elected President to complete his term since the 1990s when the country’s politics was marked by coups and assassinations.


Under the country’s laws, the party that wins legislative elections that are usually held separately, this cycle’s were in March, is entitled to appoint a prime minister who form the government.

However, that the president has a veto on both makes for a murky political setting which tends to plunge the country into political instability such as that seen during President Vaz regime.