By Nouha Mancaly
In a statement released Thursday, ECOWAS said that “in the face of the current blockade and after a thorough analysis of the political situation in the country, the Heads of State and Government decided to recognise the victory of Umaro Sissoco Embaló in the second round of the presidential election of December 29.”
The sub-regional grouping also called for the formation of a new government in line with the results of the March 10, 2019 legislative elections, won by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), grabbing 47 out of the 102 parliamentary seats.
“The Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS urged President Umaro Sissoco Embaló to appoint a Prime Minister and a government, no later than May 22, 2020, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and in the light of the results of the legislative elections,” said the communiqué signed by Jean Claude Kassi-Brou, President of the Organising Committee.
In his reaction to the bloc, the losing candidate in the presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau, Domingos Simões Pereira, regretted what he called ECOWAS decision to abandon the principle of “zero tolerance” against coups d’état by recognising his opponent as the winner.
“My first reaction is one of deep sadness...a sadness to see an organisation like the Economic Community of West African States abandoning the principle of zero tolerance against coups,” Pereira told journalists.
He appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice to challenge the results, which have not yet been reviewed.
ECOWAS has also proposed to Guinea-Bissau’s political actors to try to initiate constitutional reforms, an initiative that should be preceded by a referendum within six months.
Following the inauguration of Umaro Sissoco Embaló and his government, Guinea-Bissau’s main international partners called for a resolution of the crisis on the basis of the law governing the country, stressing the importance of the Supreme Court in deciding the outcome of the electoral dispute.
The Supreme Court of Justice promised to rule on the electoral dispute after the circumstances that led to the state of emergency in the country.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Embaló admitted the possibility of dissolving parliament and calling for early parliamentary elections if the current blockade continues, since the Popular National Assembly has refused to receive Nuno Nabian’s government programme.