BISSAU Dec 13 Guinea Bissau's newly-appointed
prime minister Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embalo has named his
cabinet, the government said in a statement late Monday, as he
seeks to end a political deadlock in the West African country.
President Jose Mario Vaz dissolved the government and
appointed Sissoco the country's fifth prime minister in little
over a year on November 18. The last prime minister, Baciro Dja,
failed to win the support of the largest party, the African
Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).
The PAIGC, an organisation hit by regular infighting, also
rejected Sissoco's appointment and said that it would boycott
his government. Of 37 newly appointed cabinet members, only the
minister of the presidency and parliamentary affairs Malal Sane
is a member of the ruling party.
The other 36 ministers and secretaries of state include 12
representatives of the largest opposition group, the Party of
Social Renewal, and members of three smaller opposition parties.
It was unclear whether Sissoco would be able to convene
parliament and approve a budget with opposition from the PAIGC,
which is led by former prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira
who was dismissed by Vaz last year.
The former Portuguese colony has seen nine coups or
attempted coups since 1980. Because of its political
instability, it has become a major transit point for cocaine
trafficked from South America to Europe.
(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Nellie Peyton and Emma
Farge; Editing by Tom Heneghan)