Updated December 24, 2018
Campaigning in Biombo Region, Guinea-Bissau during the 2008 elections. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Nammarci
Guinea-Bissau is prone to coups, most recently in 2012, and no elected leader has served a full term since independence from Portugal. The country remains in a political crisis. Sometimes dubbed “the world’s first narco-state,” it risks once again becoming a hub for drug traffickers. The main conflict is between President José Mário Vaz and former prime minster Domingos Simões Pereira, whom Vaz fired in 2015 (the country is on its sixth prime minster since Vaz took office in 2014). Lorraine Mallinder breaks down the conflict in a piece from last March in the Irish Times.
The elections have already been delayed multiple times. Despite pressure from both the UN and ECOWAS to finally hold them by the end of January, Vaz on December 20 that the elections would take place on March 10, 2019. At a December 21 meeting, UN diplomats emphasized the importance of holding the elections and resolving Guinea-Bissau’s political crisis.
All 102 seats in the Assembleia Nacional Popular (National People’s Assembly), unicameral national legislature.
What To Watch
Will the polls take place in March, or will more delays happen?