Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embalo has by a presidential decree been named the new Prime Minister (PM) of Guinea Bissau. Embalo is a former presidential advisor and is expected to name a new government in the coming days.
The need for a new PM was necessitated by President Jose Mario Vaz’s dismissal of his entire cabinet on Monday. Vaz dismissed the last cabinet which had been led by PM Baciro Ja who held the post for five months.
The cabinet dismissal was in accordance with a peace agreement to quell the political crisis in the country. The talks were held in neighbouring Guinea Conakry under the leadership of President Alpha Conde.
“The implementation of the Conakry agreement entails the resignation of the government,” the AFP quoted Vaz saying.
The choice of Embalo as per the agreement was supposed to be by consensus and should lead to the formation of a unity government, the presidency said on Monday.
The regional mediation team in the country’s political crisis was led by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. They visited Guinea Bissua in early November to urge the stakeholders to implement the agreement they signed on 14 October in Conakry.
The President has so far dismissed two PMs, last year he dismissed his PM and party colleague, Domingos Simoes Pereira, following a series of disputes between the two. Baciro Ja was named as his replacement in June this year but the political and social tensions remained.
Guinea-Bissau is now one of the poorest countries in the world, regularly rocked by social and political instability. The Conakry talks set out the ‘consensual’ principle for the choice of a next premier to hold the fort till legislative elections next year.