Guinea-Bissau leader sacks five key ministers

Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embaló sacked the ministers for defence, interior, economy, agriculture and energy in a decree on Sunday.

No explanation was given. Their dismissal comes ahead of a parliamentary session on the formation of a new government.

The country has been gripped by political turmoil for many years, with Guinea-Bissau nine coups or attempted coups since 1980.

President Embaló was announced as the winner of December’s election. However the long-time ruling party PAIGC said the elections were rigged, and its leader Domingos Simoes Pereira contested the result at the supreme court.

The sacked ministers are all members of President Embalo’s Madem-15 party or parties loyal to the president, according to Reuters news agency.

“It is a strategy for Umaro Sissoco Embaló to gain the majority at the parliament,” the agency quotes a website Ditadura de Consenso as saying.

Mr Embaló, a former army general, has said he wants to resolve tensions and modernise Guinea-Bissau – one of the world’s poorest nations.


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