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18.06.2019 Africa

Guinea Bissau to hold presidential election in November: official

By AFP
Guinea Bissau's president Jose Mario Vaz will seek reelection after coming to power in 2014.  By SEYLLOU (AFP)
JUN 18, 2019 AFRICA
Guinea Bissau's president Jose Mario Vaz will seek reelection after coming to power in 2014. By SEYLLOU (AFP)

Guinea Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz on Tuesday set the date for the next presidential election for November 24, according to an official decree in the tiny West African nation.

The country has been in political deadlock since August 2015 when Vaz sacked PAIGC party colleague Domingos Simoes Pereira from his post of prime minister after falling out with him.

Pereira has refused to go quietly and repeatedly led protests demanding his reinstatement to the post.

Vaz, also from PAIGC -- the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde -- will seek reelection after coming to power in 2014.

A March 10 parliamentary vote saw the PAIGC and its allies control 54 of parliament's 102 seats but lawmakers proposed Pereira, the party leader, as prime minister, a move rejected by Vaz.

Last month, Pereira led over a thousand party supporters on a march in the capital Bissau.

"Guinea Bissau is in a very risky situation," Pereira said at the time, addressing the marchers.

Wedged between Senegal and Guinea on Africa's west coast, Guinea Bissau is notorious for its volatility.

It has seen multiple coup attempts since independence from Portugal in 1973, four of which have been successful.

In the upcoming elections, 49 political parties are legally registered in the country, according to the decree.

The November 24 election date is later than proposals put forward by the National Electoral Commission, which had recommended a November 3 first round, with a possible run-off vote on December 8.

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