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New Guinea-Bissau PM named in attempt to end political crisis

By AFP | February 1st 2018
Guinea Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO

Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz named a new prime minister late on Tuesday.

He appointed Augusto Antonio Artur Da Silva by decree after the previous PM resigned in a bid to end a political crisis. The new prime minister's first job will be to organise fresh parliamentary elections in the coming months.

The impoverished West African nation has been in the throes of a power struggle since August 2015, when Vaz sacked then Prime Minister Domingo Simoes Pereira. Vaz and Pereira - who heads the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) party of which the president is a member - have accused each other of blocking the implementation of an accord reached in 2016.

The agreement had envisaged naming a new prime minister "who had the president's trust", and who would maintain his position until elections to be held in 2018.

The appointment of former foreign minister and fellow PAIGC member Da Silva as prime minister comes two weeks after the resignation of predecessor Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who declared "if the president does not trust me, I won't wait to be fired".

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