Guinea Bissau Interim President resigns


Guinea-Bissau interim President Cipriano Cassama has resigned from his office because of death threats, less than two days after he was sworn into the post.

“An interim president needs to have all the security conditions to fulfill his duties,” Cassama told reporters in the capital Bissau Sunday.

“My life’s in danger, my family’s life’s in danger, the population’s life’s in danger. That’s why I’ve decided to resign,” he said, less than 48 hours after he was appointed by the country’s historic ruling party, the PAIGC.

Cassama was sworn in by lawmakers on Friday after the ruling party refused to acknowledge the election victory of former opposition leader and the winner of December elections, Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

Two rival contenders for the presidency have been battling to assume power since the December 29 run-off vote.

Embalo won 53.55 per cent of the votes in the second-round vote while Domingos Simoes Pereira, also from PAIGC, won 46.45 per cent but denounced the result as fraudulent.

The Supreme Court, responding to a petition by the PAIGC, ordered a check of the vote tally sheets, but this has failed to resolve the dispute, with a row breaking out between the Supreme Court and the election panel.

On Thursday, Embalo conducted his own presidential swearing-in ceremony and moved into the presidential palace, without waiting for a final ruling from the Supreme Court.

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