Guinea-Bissau President Embaló Dissolves Parliament

Guinea-Bissau President Embaló Dissolves Parliament (News Central TV)

President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau has dissolved the country’s parliament, three months after claiming to have survived a coup attempt.

He accused politicians of corruption and also mentioned that there was “ongoing and unresolved disputes” with the legislature.

“The National People’s Assembly has defended and protected, under the guise of parliamentary immunity, deputies heavily indicted for crimes of corruption, harmful administration and embezzlement,” the president said.

Embaló dismissed the government, but kept both the prime minister and his deputy in place in order to keep things running until the next legislative elections.

President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau

“I have decided to give the floor to Guineans so that again this year they can freely choose at the ballot box the parliament they wish to have,” President Embaló said.

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Since independence in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has had more than a dozen coups or attempted coups.

In February, gunfire erupted in the capital, killing 11 individuals in five hours of violence.

Embaló formed his cabinet on 13 December 2016 after having been appointed prime minister by President José Mário Vaz on 18 November 2016. However, Embaló took the post while under a boycott of his own party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which through its Central Committee gave him a vote of distrust of one hundred and twelve votes in favor and eleven against on 26 November 2016.

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As head of government, he could only count on the support of the Social Renovation Party, which had the second largest number of seats in the National People’s Congress of Guinea-Bissau.

Sissoco Embaló has stated that his governing style is that of “Embaloïsm”, which he defines as “order, discipline, and development”, asserting that “there is neither small state nor small president” and comparing himself to Lee Kuan Yew and Rodrigo Duterte. As part of an anti-corruption drive, he ordered the installation of CCTV surveillance cameras across the country and the arrest of Minister of Public Health Antonio Deuna on embezzlement charges in 2021.

In 2020, his presidency saw the retreat of Economic Community of West African States troops stationed in the country after the 2012 coup and attempts to arrange official visits from foreign heads of government, including the first visit from the Portuguese government in three decades, and international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund.

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