The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau’s snap legislative elections—originally scheduled for today—is set to be postponed to 2023. Incumbent center-left
The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau’s snap legislative elections—originally scheduled for today—is set to be postponed to 2023.
Incumbent center-left President Umaro Sissoco Embalo—the first President to assume power peacefully—has yet to set a date but his government has proposed April 26. Embalo dissolved parliament on May 16 citing parliamentary corruption and irreconcilable differences. The impasse between Embalo and parliament originates in the disputed 2019 Presidential Election where the losing candidate—Domingo Simoes Pereira—is also the leader of the leftist bloc holding a slight 52-50 majority in the 102-seat Assembly.
Constitutionally, Embalo has until December 2024 to hold the vote. In the current impasse, Guinea-Bissau’s semi-presidential system obligates Embalo to negotiate with the opposition-controlled parliament to advance his legislative agenda. However, Embalo has largely been unsuccessful and is likely seeking elections to tip the majority in his bloc’s favor.
Expect an election in the first half of next year. Whether opposition parties participate is still uncertain as they vehemently opposed new elections. However, they agreed to the proposed postponement—potentially signaling their participation next year. Crucial to both sides’ hopes is the voter registration process—potentially increasing voter turnout. Regardless, expect ongoing political instability in the medium term.