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Guinea-Bissau incumbent Vaz to seek re-election

Guinea-Bissau

<p><strong>Guinea-Bissau president José Mario Vaz, announced on Thursday he would be seeking re-election in November.</strong></p> <p>“I will be a candidate in the November 24 elections,” Vaz said in front of thousands of supporters in Bissau, capital of the tiny West African country.</p> <p>Excluded from the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (<span class="caps">PAIGC</span>), which has a majority in the National Assembly, Vaz is contesting the election as an independent, after having failed to obtain the nomination of the opposition party, Madem.</p> <p>Despite the successful legislative elections in March, Guinea-Bissau’s political crisis has not eased. The impasse began in 2015 when President Vaz dismissed Domingos Simoes Pereira, head of the <span class="caps">PAIGC</span>, as prime minister.</p> <p>Even after <span class="caps">PAIGC</span> won an absolute majority, Vaz refused to name Pereira as prime minister. He instead renewed the mandate of the consensus government headed by Aristide Gomes.</p> <p>Pereira is seeking the presidency on the <span class="caps">PAIGC</span> ticket, in a political showdown that promises to leave the country deeply divided. </p> <p>In power since 2014, President Vaz ended his five-year term on 23 June in a country with a history of coups. Since then, he has remained at the helm of the country but appointed a council of ministers responsible for the day to day running of the state, until elections in November.</p> <p>Regional bloc <span class="caps">ECOWAS</span>, whose mediation efforts have focused on returning stability to the country, has urged calm.</p>