Opposition leader Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who swore himself iin as the new president of Guinea-Bissau, sacked the prime minister on Friday after soldiers were seen occupying the premier’s office.
Embalo’s swearing-in on Thursday was held in defiance of a bitter ongoing row about the outcome of elections nearly two months ago.
‘The prime minister Aristides Gomes is relieved’ of his functions, a presidential decree signed by Embalo said.
A second decree announced that the president would be replaced by Nuno Gomes Nabiam, who ran against Embalo in the first round of the presidential election and threw his support behind Embalo in the second.
After soldiers occupied prime minister’s office on Friday evening, according to an AFP correspondent, Gomes described their presence on his Facebook page as confirmation of a ‘coup’.
Embalo, 47, won 53.55 percent of the votes in the December 29 runoff, according to the National Electoral Commission.
Domingos Simoes Pereira, 56, from the country’s historic ruling party, the PAIGC, won 46.45 percent, but denounced the result as fraudulent.
The Supreme Court, responding to a petition by the PAIGC, has issued rulings requiring a check of the vote tally sheets.
However, this has failed to resolve the dispute, and a row has now brewed between the Supreme Court and the election panel.
On Thursday both Pereira and Gomes condemned Embalo’s swearing in as a ‘coup’ attempt.
Embalo, who styled himself as the outsider in the election campaign, had vowed to break with the decades-long domination of Guinea-Bissau’s traditional ruling party, the PAIGC.
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