Guinea-Bissau’s parliament dissolved after ‘coup attempt’

Guinea-Bissau’s president has issued a decree dissolving parliament after saying that he had survived an attempted coup last week.

Heavy battles raged in the early hours of Friday in the capital Bissau between members of the National Guard, which is linked to the interior ministry, and the presidential guard. At least two people died in the clashes.

President Umaro Sissoco Embalo was at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai at the time and returned home on Saturday. He said he had been prevented from returning earlier because of what he called an attempted coup. 

On Monday, he dissolved parliament, saying state institutions could no longer function normally because of “complicity” between the national guard and “certain political interests”, AFP reports. “The date of forthcoming legislative elections will be set at the opportune moment, in line with the constitution,” Mr Embalo is quoted as saying. 

His announcement was dismissed as unconstitutional by one of his main rivals – Domingos Simoes Pereira, who was president of the parliament and the head of the PAIGC party that won a majority in elections in June, Reuters news agency reports.  Several dozen people protested outside parliament against the president’s decision.

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