Ending the Vicious Cycle of Instability in Guinea Bissau: What Next After 2014 Elections?

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The political history of Guinea Bissau has been characterized by multiple coups d’état and assassinations of some presidents since independence in 1974: three presidents were overthrown, one assassinated and one died due to illness in office. Drug trafficking spanning over a decade has further exacerbated the instability of the country and also accounts for the power struggles and deterioration of relations between the army and political elites.

In 2010, Malam Bacai Sanha was elected into office following a coup d’état in March 2009 that ousted the then democratically elected president Nino Vieira. Following the death of President Sanha in January 2012, Raimundo Pereira took over as interim president to facilitate new elections within 90 days as stipulated in the constitution. However, two weeks to the presidential election run-off, the army staged a coup on April 12 truncating the interim government. Interim President Raimundo Pereira and outgoing Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior were arrested and detained by the army on allegations of “secret deal” with Angolan troops to wipe out the Guinea Bissau army , plunging the country into further turmoil.