Guinea-Bissau’s Political Crisis Raises Fears of Another Coup

Guinea-Bissau’s Political Crisis Raises Fears of Another Coup
Shoppers and vendors at Bandim Market in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, May 27, 2012 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

As a political crisis escalates in Guinea-Bissau over its disputed December presidential vote, a West African regional bloc is warning the country’s military against intervening in the standoff.

The roots of the crisis trace back to New Year’s Day, after the National Electoral Commission declared opposition leader Umaro Sissoco Embalo the winner of the second-round run-off election with nearly 54 percent of the vote. Embalo defeated Domingos Simoes Pereira, the candidate of the long-ruling PAIGC party. A clean election with a clear winner would have marked “an important step toward greater political stability” in a country that has seen nine coups or attempted coups since 1980, as Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at Chatham House, explained in a WPR interview before the run-off.

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