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Guinea-Bissau president picks prime minister sparking protests

Guinea-Bissau president picks prime minister sparking protests


Guinea-Bissau president Jose Mario Vaz has named Baciro Dja as prime minister of the country Thursday evening sparking protests around the presidential palace.

Both members of the ruling and opposition parties are against the appointment of Dja, who has served that position briefly in August 2015 before he was forced to step down by the Supreme Court after his appointment was challenged by the ruling party for breach of the constitution.

Baciru Dja’s appointment comes two weeks after President Vaz dissolved the Carlos Correia-led government.

We will not accept a prime minister chosen by the president.

Hundreds of supporters of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) protested against Dja’s appointment by throwing stones at security forces around the presidential palace and some burning tires on the road, AFP reports.

The situation was reportedly tense as at 21:00 GMT and AFP reports that there was reinforcement by riot police at the presidential palace ordering the civilians to leave.

One of the police commanders at the scene is quoted saying they have been ordered to shoot anyone who would cross the palace gates.

The ruling PAIGC, of which the president is a leader, has been in a political turmoil since the dismissal of the former prime minister by the president as a result of an alleged disagreement.

President Vaz had earlier on Thursday announced to parliamentarians his intention to appoint a new prime minister. His PAIGC had however reiterated its refusal to recognize a head of government appointed by the president maintaining that the choice was up to the majority party in parliament according to the constitution.

“We will not accept a prime minister chosen by the President”, former Prime Minister Carlos Correia told the media during a visit to the gates of the presidential palace with some former ministers under the protection of soldiers of the West African regional force ECOMIB.