Unrest in Guinea-Bissau: the country's president and the president of parliament accuse each other

In Guinea-Bissau, a week after clashes between the army and elements of the National Guard in the capital, the country's President Umaro Sissoco Embalo accused on France 24 that of the Parliament of being "behind the coup". Domingos Simões Pereira counter-attacked on RFI by once again denouncing "an attempted institutional coup d'état" following the dissolution of Parliament decreed by the Head of State on December 4, 2023.

Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo (left) and Guinea-Bissau Parliament President Domingos Simões Pereira. © AFP Photos - RFI Editing

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In Guinea-Bissau, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo accused the Speaker of Parliament of being behind the events during the first days of December 2023. Clashes between the military that the head of state describes as an attempted coup d'état and which led him to pronounce the dissolution of the National Assembly. On December 6, Umaro Sissoco Embalo accused Domingos Simões Pereira on France 24: "But he is the one behind the coup," accused President Embalo, citing wiretaps. "There is no kind of connection that should bind the speaker of parliament to the military or the police. In addition, more serious is when there is a liaison between the president of a parliament and the commander of the National Guard.


The Head of State continues: when the Attorney General of the Republic arrested the former Minister of Finance and the Secretary of State of the Treasury for alleged embezzlement of funds amounting to ten million dollars, "the President of the Assembly gave instructions to the commander of the National Guard to go and take them from the prisons of the judicial police, so that the investigation does not continue. Because everyone knows that he is involved in this corruption.


Read alsoGuinea-Bissau: the president accuses the opposition of being behind the "coup attempt"

The main person concerned responds to these accusations on RFI: fabrications, says Domingos Simões Pereira. "No one believes that, first of all because I was in a meeting with three other members at my house when we learned that the two ministers had been arrested," he told Laurent Correau. And I continued in the company of these elements until the moment when the information arrived that there had been a coup de force to free them. But what is also surprising: to go and take two elements who are arrested and transfer them to the National Guard, how can this represent an attempted coup d'état? As I have said from the beginning, Mr. Embalo needed a framework of abnormality to justify the fact that he was going to dissolve the Assembly."

Domingos Simões Pereira reiterated: "There was no coup attempt. Now is the time when we have an attempted institutional coup d'état against the National People's Congress. Now is the time of an attempted coup d'état.


Read alsoGuinea-Bissau: President Embalo dissolves Parliament after "coup attempt"

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