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Is Another Political Crisis Looming in Guinea-Bissau?

Guinea Bissau's parliament.  Photo:  Flickr by Colleen Taugher cc-by-2.0

Guinea Bissau's parliament. Photo: Flickr by Colleen Taugher. CC 2.0.

Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira has accused the country's President, Jose Mario Vaz, of “deliberately trying to tear his government apart by creating a political crisis as a pretext to sack everyone.” The Prime Minister has vowed to use “all legal resources available” to prevent the dissolution of the current government. In an address to the nation, Simoes Pereira asked the people of Guinea-Bissau to “remain calm”:

Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister accuses the President of the Republic of wanting to break down the Government.

The blog Progresso Nacional has called on President Mario Vaz to “step down by tomorrow” (August 7, 2015), claiming the “Arab spring has arrived in a Lusophone country.”

CHEGOU A PRIMEIRA PRIMAVERA ÁRABE NUM PAÍS LUSÓFONO ILUSTRES LEITORES AMANHÃ VAMOS ASSISTIR A PRIMEIRA PRIMAVERA ÁRABE NUM PAÍS LUSOFONO SI KILA KA ACONTECI NÔ NA DITA KU NÔ MAMÉ O PROBLEMA É SÉRIO MAS MUITO SÉRIO!!!! Publicada por Progresso Nacional à(s) 22:03

The first Arab spring has arrived in a lusophone country. Dear readers, tomorrow we are going to assist in the first Arab Spring in a Lusophone country […] This is serious, very serious!!!

The African Union has expressed concern about this institutional disagreement in the Guinean government and has asked both parties to “reach an agreement by coordinating the need for harmonization through dialogue,” according to Ovidio Pequeno, the African Union representative in Bissau.

Guinea-Bissau: The African Union is worried about the disagreement between [these] leaders.

Guinean Twitter users have been buzzing about the unfolding crisis in their country:

God Bless beloved Guinea-Bissau. The colors of the future … can be seen from here!

Others consider this a childish episode between politicians:

Political childishness in Guinea-Bissau.

Timor-Leste's Nobel-Peace-Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta says the news coming from Bissau is “alarming,” and argues that “there is no need to sack the government”:

In the past, the military has played a frequent and prominent role in governing Guinea-Bissau, amidst problems with narco-trafficking and coups in 2010 and 2012. For the past year, since Domingos Simoes Pereira came to office in 2014, the country has enjoyed relative peace.

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