Guinea-Bissau goes to the polls to renew parliament | News

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Guinea-Bissau goes to the polls this Sunday to renew parliament more than a year after President Umaro Sissoco Embalo dissolved parliament over corruption allegations.


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A total of twenty parties and two coalitions compete for the parliamentary majority that will determine, according to the law of the country, who is the prime minister and head of the Government.

Under the current political system, the majority party or coalition appoints the government but the president has the power to remove it in certain circumstances. That has led to political deadlock and infighting in the past.

Embalo dissolved the national assembly in May last year, after deep divisions with lawmakers months after foiling a coup attempt.

In these elections, the Movement for Alternation and Democracy (Madem G-15) stands out, to which the current president belongs, and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (Paigc), ruling until the presidential elections at the end of 2019 and that he leads a coalition in these votes.

According to the National Electoral Commission (CNE), more than 200 international observers are monitoring the vote, including teams sent by the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (Cedeao) and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries ( CPLP), among others.

"There will not be an absolute majority winner in these elections. It is impossible," Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam said.

Polls opened at 07:00 local time (07:00 GMT) and will close at 17:00 local time (17:00 GMT).

Guinea-Bissau, which gained its independence in 1974 after a bloody war against Portugal, had 22 prime ministers and three military coups until the advent of multiparty elections in 1994.

The latest coup attempt was in February last year when gunmen stormed a government compound where Embalo was holding a cabinet meeting. Embalo, who remained in power, linked the incident to the country's booming drug trade.

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