Guinea-Bissau president reappoints Geraldo Martins as PM

By Alberto Dabo

BISSAU (Reuters) – Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has reappointed Geraldo Martins as prime minister after dissolving his government last week, he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Martins was first appointed PM in August after serving as finance minister in a previous government. He is a member of the former ruling PAIGC party which now leads an opposition coalition.

The opposition coalition won a majority in legislative elections in June, but Embalo dissolved the parliament last week, accusing it of “passivity” in response to what he said was an attempted coup.

A date for new elections has yet to be announced.

Coups and unrest have been commonplace in Guinea-Bissau since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974.

Under the current political system, the majority party or coalition appoints the government but the president has the power to dismiss it in certain circumstances, often leading to political deadlock.

(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Christina Fincher)