afrol.com, 28 March - The new minority government of Guinea-Bissau, headed by Faustino Imbali, was supposed to be inaugurated yesterday. After main opposition parties said they would not cooperate with Imbali's "unrepresentative" government, the inauguration ceremony yesterday was postponed, with no new date set.
The proposed new Prime Minister, Faustino Imbali, yesterday told the Portuguese Radio, RDP África, that "the adjournment only relates to questions around the organization of the ceremony," in particular concerning the foreign representatives invited to the ceremony. He further emphasised that the inauguration of the proposed new government was still to happen "within this week". He dismissed that the postponement was related to the majority opposition's protests against the new government.
President Kumba Yala had announced the establishment of a new government in Guinea-Bissau to replace that of Caetano Intchama. On Wednesday 21 March, Yala appointed Imbali to the post of Prime Minister. Imbali on Monday 26 March named a team of 14 ministers and eight state secretaries, and promised to concentrate on resolving the instability in the country. Imbali would lead the fourth government in Guinea-Bissau in the last 13 months.
Imbali's new government integrates members from the Party of Social Restoration (PRS), Guinea-Bissau Resistance (RGB), Guinean Civic Forum/Social Democracy (FCG/SD), Party of Democratic Groups (PCD), Social Democratic Party (PSD) and African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGCV). It was hoped that the participation of ministers from the main opposition parties RGB and PAIGCV would secure a wide platform for the government.
However, the deputies of PAIGC and the RGB confirmed that they still belong to the national opposition, consisting of seven parties. The opposition, holding the majority of parliamentarian seats, announced they would not cooperate with the new government only few hours after Imbali appointed it. PAIGC and RGB deputies confirmed their party's opposition to the new government. Helder Vaz, president of the RGB, even revealed that he was surprised his fellow party member, Oscar Baldé, has agreed to accept the post as Minister of Fisheries, a move that had not been cleared with the party's leadership.
At a press conference held by the national opposition, the seven parties said the new government was "unrepresentative of the main political forces in the country," and demanded a search for a new political consensus. The appointment of the new government only would "deepen the political, social and economic crisis" under which the country is suffering.
According to unnamed observers interviewed by the French news agency AFP, the institutional crisis could have serious consequences for the troubled country. Awaiting donors' aid for reconstruction after the civil war, Guinea-Bissau has been given clear conditions to create a stable political climate. The International Monetary Foundation (IMF) allegedly demands the establishment of a stable government and the reduction of the armed forces from 25.000 to 4.000 men before opening its wallet.
The new government appointed by Imbali is composed of the following 14 ministers and eight state secretaries:
- Prime Minister: Faustino Imbali (independent, ex-Vice Prime Minister and ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs)
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