- The West African state of Guinea-Bissau recorded what activists described as a healthy political development, as the ruling government of President João Bernardo Vieira lost a vote of confidence in the parliament. Constitutionally, the government should hand over power to a coalition body.
Following the confirmation of irregularities in the voting process by the secretary to parliament, the government vowed to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world, since 1999 has been at the centre of disputes that most times resulted in military coups or mutinies.
Political observers said that Guinea-Bissau President Vieira is left with the choice to dismiss the government of Prime Minister Aristides Gomes, dissolve the parliament or seek a compromise. Prime Minister Gomes, who was appointed to the position in 2005, has been a close friend of Mr Vieira.
Since his appointment, several deputies raised eyebrows and vowed to remove Mr Gomes from office. It is also believed that the Bissau government is deeply affected by the struggles with parliament.
Until his overthrow in 1999, Mr Vieira had ruled Guinea-Bissau in an authoritarian way for 19 consecutive years. In 2005, he came from his six year exile to sweep the free and fair presidential elections in the country.
Since independence, the former Portuguese colony has been confronted with all types of problems, including lack of human and material resources, which boomeranged on the country's development.
Principally, Guinea-Bissau's main problem is said to have to do with leadership. Unable to gain political stability for almost ten years, the country's economy has also faced ruin and lack of investments still haunts Bissau.
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