05:54 am
26 October 2016

President of Guinea Bissau dissolves government in row with PM

BISSAU (Reuters) – Guinea Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz has dissolved the government because of a growing rift with the prime minister, a presidential decree announced late on Wednesday.

Tensions, fed by overlapping duties in Guinea Bissau’s semi-presidential system, have grown between the president and Domingos Simoes Pereira since civilian rule was restored to the unstable West African nation last year following a 2012 coup.

Former colonial ruler Portugal warned earlier this week that the row risked sparking a serious political crisis that could endanger much needed development assistance.

Donors pledged more than 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) in March to support the country after last June’s elections. Since 1980, Guinea Bissau has undergone nine coups or attempted coups.

The government plans to retire nearly half the army’s 5,000 soldiers, including former coup leaders, over the next five years as part of military reforms seeking to ensure long-term stability.