Guinea-Bissau: Opposition hunt, constitutional coup… when Umaro Sissoco Embalo heads straight for his downfall

In recent months, Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has shown himself to be the all-powerful strongman of the country, making decisions that flout the laws that govern the country. The dissolution of the opposition-majority parliament and now the sacking of Prime Minister Geraldo Martins, a week after his reappointment. What is Umaro Sissoco Embalo up to?

While he is considered by his own opposition party to be close to President Sissoco after his reappointment a few days ago, Geraldo Martins was sacked last Wednesday by the President of Guinea-Bissau, for no reason given.

Geraldo Martins was a member of the opposition coalition that won the legislative elections in June around the historic PAIGC party, which led the country’s liberation struggle and dominated Guinea-Bissau’s political life for a long time. This West African country has been plagued by political unrest since its independence.

His dismissal comes after Embalo Sissoco staged a constitutional coup following what he described as an attempted coup d’état on 1 December.

According to reports, the «all-powerful» President Sissoco gave the order last week to disperse with tear gas opposition MPs who had tried to defy his decision to dissolve parliament. He has even been the subject of a coup d’état on two occasions.

With his actions, he risks suffering the same fate as Mohamed Bazoum and Blaise Compaoré.

He can still run, he’s just delaying the deadline, the end is near. How long will he be able to contain the growing discontent of the people of Guinea-Bissau?


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