Guinea-Bissau: Umaro Sissoco Embalo invests his new Prime Minister

The self-proclaimed president of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo (d), invested Nuno Nabian (g) as Prime Minister, in Bissau, on February 29, 2020. RFI / Charlotte Idrac

Text by: RFI Follow

It is a new stage in the post-electoral showdown in Guinea-Bissau. Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who presents himself as head of state, invested his new Prime Minister, Nuno Nabian, on Saturday February 29, the candidate who came 3rd in the first round of the presidential election. For his part, the President of the Assembly, Cipriano Cassama, was invested, Friday evening, acting president. The country is thus with two presidents.


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With our special correspondent in Bissau , Charlotte Idrac

This is an unprecedented situation in Guinea-Bissau. The country now has two presidents and two prime ministers. Each side accuses the other of illegality, while the PAIGC candidate, Domingos Simões Pereira, disputes the provisional results of the second round of December 29 and that the post-electoral disputes are still not settled by the Supreme Court.

The self-proclaimed president of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo dismissed from office on Friday, Prime Minister Artistides Gomes and appointed Nuno Nabian. His inauguration as Prime Minister just took place this Saturday, during a ceremony at the presidential palace which RFI attended.

Nuno Gomes Nabian, dressed in white, was sworn in, in the presence of the military hierarchy - the chief of staff was present - of the Senegalese ambassador, but in the absence of Western diplomatic representation.

Nuno Gomes Nabian had rallied Umaro Sissoco Embalo between the two presidential rounds. According to those around him, he should first appoint a Minister of Defense and a Minister of the Interior in the coming hours.

This Saturday morning, Umaro Sissoco Embalo once again affirmed that he was the “ legitimate ” head of state and that a “ new page was opened for Guinea Bissau ”.

# Guinea Bissau. 3rd investiture ceremony in 3 days ... this morning Nuno Nabiam appointed Prime Minister by Umaro Sissoco Embalo. At the palace in the presence of the military hierarchy. "Unconstitutional" for the PAIGC and government. #CEDEAO silence. @RFIAfrique

Charlotte Idrac (@CharlotteIdrac) February 29, 2020

PAIGC denounces "a coup"

The ceremony was celebrated outside the palace by MADEM party activists, gathered in the square, with drums, just opposite, on the other hand, the headquarters of the PAIGC party of Domingos Simões Pereira.

PAIGC activists put gray and denounce " a coup " because for the party, it is the President of the Assembly who is now acting Head of State, until the Supreme Court decides on the final results. Cipriano Cassama was invested, Friday evening, by the deputies of the PAIGC in the National People's Assembly, the latter having noted the “ vacancy of power ” since the outgoing president José Mário Vaz left his functions.

Prime Minister Aristides Gomes - dismissed Friday evening by Umaro Sissoco Embalo - denounces an anti-constitutional move by Umaro Sissoco and his allies. The PAIGC appeals to the international community which remains, for the moment, silent on the events of the past few days which have been accelerating since Friday evening.

As for the army - whose highest representatives were Thursday at the investiture ceremony organized by Umaro Sissoco Emabolo and this morning that of his Prime Minister - it controls the government palace which houses several ministries, the courthouse as well than national radio and television that were closed and stopped broadcasting.

In the city, at midday, the atmosphere was calm. Residents with whom RFI spoke unfortunately said they were " used " to political crises after a presidential election which had nevertheless gone well.

Senegal rejects any interference

In a statement, the Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects any " interference by President Macky Sall in the internal affairs of Guinea-Bissau. The government of Senegal once again welcomes the smooth running of the presidential election (...) and reiterates its congratulations to President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, " read the press release. The Senegalese ambassador is one of the few diplomatic representatives to have attended the investiture ceremony organized on Thursday by Umaro Sissoco Embalo, and that of the Prime Minister whom he appointed this Saturday morning.

►Read also: Two presidents invested in Guinea-Bissau

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