In the aftermath of what he labeled a “coup attempt” on Saturday, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has asserted control in Bissau, reclaiming authority three days after clashes instilled panic in the capital during the night of Thursday to Friday on December 1st. This Monday morning, the President of Guinea-Bissau decided to dissolve the Parliament, which is predominantly led by the opposition.
A meeting of the Council of State was convened at the presidential palace, initiated by President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, on Monday morning. Among the Council’s members were representatives from major state institutions, including the President of the Supreme Court, the President of the National Assembly, Domingos Simoes Pereira, Prime Minister Geraldo Martins, and leaders of political parties.
On the agenda was the dissolution of the National Assembly, announced by President Embalo on Monday, three days after events he characterized as a “coup attempt,” triggering the automatic dissolution of the cohabitating government.
This decision was not unexpected, given the challenging and complex cohabitation between the head of state and the opposition-led Parliament since the legislative elections last summer within the Alliance inclusive-Terra Ranka platform. The attempted coup last week, sparked by the police interrogation of two opposition ministers, exemplifies the intensifying tensions.
During their interrogation, elements of the National Guard stormed the premises of the judicial police last Thursday evening to liberate them. Clashes erupted in the night between Thursday and Friday between the National Guard barricaded in a southern Bissau barracks and the Special Forces of the Presidential Guard, resulting in at least two casualties.