Guinea-Bissau president sacks prime minister, names replacement

BISSAU (Reuters) -Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has dismissed Geraldo Martins as prime minister just a week after his reappointment and appointed former prime minister Rui Duarte de Barros in his place, presidential decrees on Wednesday showed.

Embalo dissolved Guinea-Bissau’s parliament days after what he said was a foiled coup on Dec. 1, accusing the government of passivity in response to the clashes. He then reappointed Martins as prime minister on Dec. 12.

The presidential decrees did not provide a reason for sacking Martins, who is a member of the former ruling PAIGC party which now leads the main opposition coalition. Sources close to the matter said the prime minister and the president were at odds.

De Barros previously worked as the West African country’s minister of economy and finance and as a commissioner at the West African Economic and Monetary Union, before serving as prime minister in a transitional government between 2012 and 2014.

Guinea-Bissau has often been in political turmoil and has seen several coups since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974.

Police fired tear gas last week to disperse opposition members of parliament who had tried to convene in defiance of Embalo’s decision to dissolve the house. A date for new legislative elections has not yet been set.

(Reporting by Alberto DaboWriting by Sofia Christensen and Anait MiridzhanianEditing by Alison Williams, Kirsten Donovan)