GUINEA BISSAU: President Dissolves Cabinet after Court Ruling

BISSAU, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015(CISA) – Guinea Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz has dissolved his two-day-old cabinet after the Supreme Court ruled that his appointment of a new prime minister was unconstitutional.

President Vaz fired Guinea Bissau’s Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira in August and replaced him with Baciro Dja, prompting the nation into a political crisis, Reuters reported.

Members of the ruling Party, Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde PAIGC to which all three leaders belong, objected to those decisions and appealed to the Supreme Court which ruled in their favor on September 9.

“The head of state can take no other approach than conforming to the decision of the supreme judicial authorities of the Republic,” according to a note from the President’s office released on September 9.

The newly appointed Prime Minister Baciro Dja had announced his resignation on September 9 but it was not immediately clear at the time if his cabinet – only appointed this week – would follow suit.

Tensions between Vaz and Pereira have worsened since elections last year which restored democratic rule after a 2012 army coup. The two leaders are former rivals for PAIGC leadership.

The former Portuguese colony has suffered nine coups or attempted coups since 1980 but the army has so far declared its neutrality.

Security sources say that resolving the current crisis and winning back the confidence of worried Western donors will depend on whether Vaz and senior members of the PAIGC leadership can agree on the next prime minister.

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