Guinea Bissau President holds talks with Opposition
Guinea Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz opened talks with the country’s main political parties on Friday to form a new government, after he fired the previous cabinet in a power struggle with the prime minister.
Vaz dismissed Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira on Wednesday in a row caused partly by overlapping duties in Guinea Bissau’s semi-presidential system.
The ruling PAIGC party, to which both men belong, said on Thursday it would name Pereira to lead the new government – a move Vaz is expected to block.
The United Nations, which has a mandate to promote peace and strengthen democracy in Guinea Bissau, says the country is now experiencing a “political crisis”.
A former Portuguese colony, Guinea Bissau, has a long history of instability, suffering nine coups or attempted coups since 1980. In recent years it has become a major transit point for cocaine smuggled from South America to Europe.
Pereira, popular with Western donors, helped secure more than Sh100 billion in financing at a March conference to help stimulate the economy after the 2014 election though political uncertainty could endanger the much-needed assistance.
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