Although several elections have been held in
Guinea-Bissau since the 1990s, the democratic system has
major shortcomings, not least because of the military's
involvement in politics. However, the military that
carried out coups in 1999, 2003 and 2012 handed over
power to civilian governments.
The constitution from 1984 has been changed several
times, including 1991 when multi-party democracy was
introduced. In 2001, Parliament approved a new
constitution, but it never came into force because the
then President Kumba Yalá never gave his approval.
Total population and chart of Guinea-Bissau for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The president is head of state and is elected in
general elections for five years and can be re-elected
once. Laws are passed by the National Assembly (Assembleia
Nacional Popular, ANP), whose 102 members are elected
for a term of four years. The Prime Minister is
appointed by the President, on the advice of Parliament.
If the government cannot get its budget adopted by the
National Assembly, it must resign.
The country is divided into eight regions.
In 2019, there were nearly 50 political parties. Both
politics and other parts of society are still influenced
by which side they were on during the liberation war of
1963-1974. Nowadays, however, there is a new generation
of politicians who are not as tied to the past as the
The largest party is the African Independence
Party of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (Partido
Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde, PAIGC).
It was formed in 1956 and led the liberation struggle
against the Portuguese colonial power and ruled the
country from independence from 1974 to 1999. PAIGC lost
power in the 1999 elections, but has since won all
elections since 2004. Contradictions within PAIGC have
several times led to political crises. The most recent
was triggered in August 2015 when then-President José
Mário Vaz dismissed party mate Domingos Simões Pereira
from the Prime Minister's post (see Current Policy).
Simões Pereira was named 2018 new party leader.
The largest opposition party The Social
Renewal Party (Partido da Renovaçao Social, PRS) then
allied with the president's camp. The PRS was founded in
1992 by Kumba Yalá who was the country's president from
2000 to 2003 when he was deposed by the military (see
A further four parties are represented in the
National Assembly. The Republican Party for
Independence and Development (Partido
Republicano para a Independência eo Desenvolvimento,
Prid) and the New Democratic Party (Partido
para a Nova Democracia, PND) were formed in 2008 and
then had close ties to the then President João Bernardo
Vieira who was assassinated the following year (see
Modern History). The Democratic Alliance (Partido da
Convergência Democrática, PCD) and Union for Change (União
para a Mudança, UM), together with PAIGC, were part of
the government led by Carlos Correia 2015-2016 (see
A new opposition alliance, Conscious and
Discontented Citizens Alliance (Movimento de
Cidadaos Conscientes e Inconformados, MCCI), which was
formed in 2016 in protest of the inability of the
authorities to resolve the political crisis.
In 2018, a new party, the Movement for a
Democratic Alternative (Movimento de
Alternância Democrática, Madem-G15) was
formed by 15 PAIGC members who in 2016 were excluded
from the ruling party. Its candidate Umaro Sissoco
Embaló won the presidential election in late 2019,
though his victory was questioned by PAIGC (see Current
Another new party is the Assembly of the
People's Unity-Guinea-Bissau Democratic Party (Assembleia
do Povo Unido-Partido Democrático da Guiné-Bissau,
APU-PDGB), led by Nuno Gomes Nabiam,
who had close ties to former President Kumba Yalá.
Bubo Na Tchuto returns from exile
José Américo Bubo Na Tchuto, the former chief of the Navy, returns to
Guinea-Bissau from the exile in Gambia.
Call for presidential elections
On April 1, presidential elections are announced until June 28.
Both Wai and Vieira are killed
Batista Tagme Na Wai is killed in a bomb attack against the Defense
Headquarters. It is unclear who is behind the act, which is followed by fighting
in the capital Bissau. A day later, President Vieira is reported to have been
killed by soldiers close to Na Wai. National Assembly President Raimundo Pereira
is temporarily taking over as president.
President Guard is charged with shooting
Vieira's 400-man Presidential Guard is accused of firing Army Chief General
Batista Tagme Na Wai.