Ruling party in Guinea-Bissau wins legislative elections

The PAIGC – the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde – won 47 out of 102 seats
Supporters of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) dance as they attend on March 8, 2019 in Bissau the closing meeting of the party’s electoral campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections on March 10. – Voters in Guinea-Bissau are to elect a new parliament on March 8 in the hopes of ending a three-year-old leadership deadlock in a country that has become more renowned for drug trafficking than its cashew nuts. (Photo by SEYLLOU / AFP)

Guinea-Bissau’s historic ruling party won legislative elections but will have to rely on a deal with smaller parties to command a majority, according to results published Wednesday by the election board.

The PAIGC — the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde — won 47 out of 102 seats, the National Election Commission said, giving provisional results.

On Tuesday, the party forged an agreement on supporting a PAIGC-led government with parties which hold seven seats.

The one-time Marxist PAIGC has ruled Guinea-Bissau for most of the 45 years since independence from Portugal.

Sunday’s vote aimed to settle a nearly four-year-old crisis that erupted after President Jose Mario Vaz sacked his prime minister, Domingos Simoes Pereira, who was head of the PAIGC.

Vaz appointed a series of prime ministers but none garnered sufficient support to achieve a parliamentary majority.

In April 2018, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) brokered an agreement leading to the designation of a consensus prime minister, Aristide Gomes, and the resumption of work by seat parliament.

Gomes was given the caretaker roll of preparing for fresh legislative polls.

The vote had been scheduled to take place on November 18 but was postponed to March 10 mainly for technical reasons.

The new assembly, which will play a key role in choosing the prime minister, will enable Nuno Gomes Nabiam, head of the five-seat APU-PDGB party, to play the role of kingmaker.

He was beaten by Vaz in the second round of presidential elections in 2014.

The other parties in the assembly are the Madem-G15, led by dissident PAIGC members, which picked up 27 seats, and the Party for Social Renovation (PRS), reputed to be close to part of the military hierarchy, which won 21 seats.

Vaz’s five-year term ends on June 23.


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