Guinea-Bissau leader sacks ministers


Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló has dismissed five government ministers.

The ministers for defence, interior, economy, agriculture and energy were all dismissed in a decree on Sunday. No explanation was given for their sacking.

Their dismissal comes ahead of a parliamentary debate on Monday on which political alliances have the right to govern the country.

The country has been gripped by political turmoil for many years. President Embaló was announced as the winner of December’s election. However the long-time ruling party PAIGC said the elections were rigged.

The sacked ministers are all members of President’s Embalo’s Madem-15 party or parties loyal to the president, according to Reuters news agency.

“It is a strategy for Umaro Sissoco Embaló to gain the majority at the parliament,” the agency quotes a website Ditadura de Consenso as saying.

Guinea-Bissau has had nine coups or attempted coups since 1980.

Mr Embaló, a former army general, has said he wants to resolve tensions and modernise Guinea-Bissau – one of the world’s poorest nations.