Guinea-Bissau’s President, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, has announced the formation of a new government, with a strong emphasis on tackling corruption. This announcement comes amid a national crisis marked by the dissolution of the Assembly and recent clashes, which President Embalo has characterized as an “attempted coup.”

During the investiture of the new head of government, Rui Duarte Barros, President Embalo underscored the paramount importance of the government’s role in combating corruption. He stated, “The relentless fight against corruption must be the backdrop of your team’s tasks. No one has the right to take the public good for himself.” President Embalo emphasized that all institutions, including the presidency, must undergo audits, and no one should be above the law.

The newly appointed 33-member government, consisting of 24 ministers and nine secretaries of state, includes members from both President Embalo’s camp and the opposition PAI-Terra Ranka coalition, which retains the majority in the new government team. The swearing-in ceremony for these officials is scheduled for Thursday.

Rui Duarte Barros, the new Prime Minister, previously led a transitional government in the early 2000s and served as Finance Minister in the late 1990s. He replaces Geraldo João Martins, who was ousted just eight days after being reappointed as head of government.

The political turmoil stems from clashes on December 1, where members of the National Guard entered the premises of the Judicial Police to extract the Minister of Economy and Finance and the Secretary of State for the Treasury. These officials were being questioned about a withdrawal of ten million dollars from the state coffers. The events of December 1 were deemed an “attempted coup d’état” by President Embalo, while the President of Parliament characterized them as a “constitutional coup d’état.”

The dissolution of the National Assembly by President Embalo calls for legislative elections to be held at an unspecified date, adding further complexity to the political landscape of Guinea-Bissau, a country that has witnessed numerous coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974.

Quest: Emmanuel kelvin

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