Guinea-Bissau parliament condemns appointment of new PM

AGORA moderator's picture

Guinea-Bissau's parliament condemned the president's choice for prime minister Saturday and called a special session to discuss the political crisis gripping the troubled country.

President Jose Mario Vaz swore in new Prime Minister Baciro Dja on Thursday after firing his predecessor, putting him at loggerheads with the ruling party which had renominated the sacked Domingos Simoes Pereira.

Pereira, who was dismissed after a series of disputes with the president, is also the leader of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) which holds a slender majority in parliament.

The National Assembly said in a statement it "vehemently condemns" the appointment of Dja "who was not proposed by the party which won the last legislative elections, in this case the PAIGC."

An urgent parliamentary session was convened for Monday during a meeting Saturday by parliamentary officials and leaders of parties in the house.

"The debate will have a sense of urgency, the situation in the country requires it, even though lawmakers are on holiday," assembly president Cipriano Cassama told AFP.

The new premier, Dja, 39, has begun consultations to form a new government to lead the chronically unstable west African nation which has barely recovered from its latest coup in 2012, after elections were held in July last year.

Vaz said his fallout with Pereira stemmed partly from the appointment of a new armed forces chief, a key post in the small nation known as a hub in drug trafficking between South America and Europe.

While police have been patrolling the streets of Bissau for several days as the crisis unfolded, soldiers -- who often play a key role in the country's political crises -- have remained in their barracks.