The opposition coalition in Guinea-Bissau has gained a majority in the parliamentary elections, which will bring back the legislature after a 13-month hiatus but probably put an end to the president’s plans for constitutional reform.
The electoral commission announced on Thursday that the PAI Terra Ranka coalition, led by the former ruling PAIGC party, had won 54 of the 102 seats in the election held on Sunday.
28 seats were won by the Madem G15 party, which is led by President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who dissolved parliament in May of last year over allegations of corruption.
The outcome puts an end to Embalo’s attempts to force through a constitutional amendment that would have given him the opportunity to consolidate power by doing away with the nation’s semi-presidential system.
Such a reform is opposed by the PAIGC party. Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974, the nation of almost 2 million inhabitants in West Africa has had at least 10 coups or attempted coups.
Widespread poverty has been brought on by a recent drop in the price of cashew nuts, which are its principal export.
As voters sought some stability, more than 20 political parties and coalitions contested seats on Sunday.
In the existing political system, the president has the authority to remove the government under certain conditions, but the majority party or coalition appoints it. That has led to political deadlock and infighting in the past.