IMF preparing to lift Aid Suspension
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) could lift a suspension on payments aimed at helping Guinea-Bissau emerge from years of political turmoil following an evaluation mission this week, the institution’s country representative stated earlier this week. The IMF agreed a programme with Guinea-Bissau last year after 2014 elections drew a line under a coup two years earlier – one of a succession that have spawned chronic instability and helped make the West African country a haven for South American cocaine traffickers.
Disbursements were suspended in June this year, however, after the government took on US$ 58.3m in bad loans from two private banks. Donors followed suit and suspended budget support for 2016 equal t…
Country paralysed following new Political Crisis
Guinea-Bissau is “practically paralysed” as a result of another political and institutional crisis that has led to a cut-off in international financial aid and is harming economic development, the West African nation’s UN envoy said yesterday. Ambassador Joao Soares Da Gama told the UN Security Council that coordinated and continued strong international support “might help us get a solid solution to the persistent impasse.”
The latest crisis was sparked by President Jose Mario Vaz’ appointment of a new prime minister by presidential decree on May 26, which led to a political stand-off with the ousted prime minister and the dismissed Cabinet. It also sparked a new case before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the p…
Second Round Elections see Vaz as new President
General elections were held in Guinea-Bissau on 13 April 2014, with a second round for the presidential elections held on 18 May since no candidate received a majority in the first round. Several logistic problems and delays caused the elections to be repeatedly postponed, having initially been scheduled for 24 November 2013 and then 16 March 2014.1 In the second round, José Mário Vaz was declared the president-elect with 62% of the vote.
The elections were the result of a military coup in 2012 cancelling the elections that year. On 26 February 2014, the UN Security Council urged Guinea-Bissau’s transitional government to abide by announced election plans, warning of sanctions against those opposing a return to constitutional order….
Finally: Elections in April 2014
Guinea-Bissau just announced to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on 13 April in an effort to end a period of political instability, which began with a coup d’etat almost two years ago. The date had already been announced by military chiefs from the Ecowas bloc of west African nations at a meeting in Bissau on Wednesday but a presidential decree seen by AFP represented the first official confirmation. “The general election in Guinea-Bissau will take place on April 13 2014,” it said.
Soumaila Bakayoko, chairperson of the Ecowas Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff, told reporters on Wednesday the bloc would send extra troops to bolster its current deployment of 750 "to ensure security for all during the elections to be he…
Civilian Government no Guarantee for Hope
The impoverished people of Guinea-Bissau had dared to hope that their difficult lives might improve after a military coup a year ago that handed power to a civilian transitional government. Instead, the west African nation is stagnating under the rule of its all-powerful military, with drug trafficking on the rise, elections postponed indefinitely and the economy anaemic. “I hope the political and military elites examine their conscience and realise that Guinea-Bissau runs a real risk of disappearing as a state,” former East Timor president Jose Ramos Horta, the UN representative in Bissau, said this week.
Taking stock of a transition year after the latest in a long line of coups that overthrew the regime of former premier Carlos Gome…