Guinea Bissau. During the year, hopes were raised that
the political stalemate that paralyzed the country's
political life would cease for several years. The
long-awaited and repeatedly postponed parliamentary election
was finally held in March. The state-carrying African
Independence Party for Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC)
was again the largest with 46% of the vote, giving the party
47 out of 102 seats in Parliament. Consequently, PAIGC had
to seek support from smaller parties to gain a majority in
the National Assembly. Next largest was the Movement for a
Democratic Alternative (Madem-G15), a party formed by
outbreaks from PAIGC, followed by the Social Renewal Party
(PRS); these two received 27 and 21 seats respectively.
CountryAAH, Domingos Simões Pereira, PAIGC leader, signed an
agreement with three smaller parties to form a coalition
government. But when the newly elected National Assembly met
in April for the first time, President José Mário Vaz
refused to approve Pereira as head of government.
Collaborative difficulties between the two led to a
prolonged government crisis in 2014, when Pereira was prime
minister, and it is this conflict that continues to
characterize the country.
In June, Vaz decided by decree that the presidential
election be held November 24. The following day, he again
refused to approve Pereira as prime minister, thus defying
the majority in the National Assembly that supported the
proposal. After the West African collaborative organization
ECOWAS demanded that a new head of government be appointed
within three days, Vaz issued a new decree by which
Aristides Gomes, who like Vaz represents PAIGC, was
appointed prime minister.
ECOWAS later continued to intervene to try to find
solutions to the crisis. The organization banned Vaz from
attending some of its meetings until the presidential
election was held. On the other hand, ECOWA's senior
management decided that he would remain as acting president
even after his term expired formally at the end of June.
Thus, the organization went against the majority of the
National Assembly, who instead voted Cipriano Cassamá as
interim president. However, ECOWAS demanded that Vaz appoint
a new government. One took office in early July and
consisted of 16 ministers, half of whom were women. In July,
ECOWAS extended the mandate for the peacekeeping force that
the organization sent to Guinea-Bissau after a 2012 military
Among those who registered their candidacy in the
presidential election were José Mário Vaz and former Prime
Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior. PAIGC was represented by
Domingos Simões Pereira while Madem-G15 launched Umaro
Sissoco Embaló, also his former prime minister. Just a month
before the election, Prime Minister Aristides Gomes was
dismissed by Vaz, who instead appointed Faustino Imbali. Her
government took office at the end of October despite the
earlier refusal to resign, citing that Vaz, as acting
president, had no mandate to dissolve the government. This
attitude was supported by ECOWAS, and after the threat of
sanctions, Imbali resigned.
Once the presidential election was held, it was clear
already in the first round, at the end of November, that Vaz
would lose power because he had three opposing candidates
ahead of him. The most votes were PAIGC's Domingos Simões
Pereira (40% of the vote) and Umaro Sissoco Embaló (28%).
Vaz accused PAIGC of electoral fraud but ECOWAS, which had
observers in place, dismissed this. In the crucial round of
elections between them, at the end of December, Sissoco
Embaló won with 53.5% of the vote. He received support from
Vaz for the second round.
During the year, the image of Guinea-Bissau was confirmed
as an intermediate station for extensive drug smuggling. In
March, close to 800 kilos of cocaine was seized just outside
the capital Bissau. This was followed by an even bigger
seizure in early September, when the police received over
1.8 tonnes of cocaine with an estimated sales value in
Europe of the equivalent of SEK 600-800 million.