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Guinea-Bissau Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
    conventional short form: Guinea-Bissau
    local long form: Republica da Guine-Bissau
    local short form: Guine-Bissau
    former: Portuguese Guinea

    Data code: PU

    Government type: republic, multiparty since mid-1991

    Capital: Bissau

    Administrative divisions: 9 regions (regioes, singular—regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali
    note: Bolama may have been renamed Bolama/Bijagos

    Independence: 24 September 1973 (unilaterally declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 24 September (1973)

    Constitution: 16 May 1984, amended 4 May 1991, 4 December 1991, 26 February 1993, 9 June 1993, and 1996

    Legal system: NA

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Joao Bernardo VIEIRA (initially assumed power 14 November 1980 in a coup d'etat)
    head of government: Prime Minister Francisco FADUL (since NA November 1998); note—named in an agreement between President VIEIRA and a military-led junta which rebelled against the President FADUL's administration in June 1998
    cabinet: none; an interim National Unity Government was provided for in the agreement between President VIEIRA and the military junta and was scheduled be inaugurated in February 1999
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 3 July and 7 August 1994 (next to be held NA July 1999); prime minister appointed by the president after consultation with party leaders in the legislature
    election results: Joao Bernardo VIEIRA elected president; percent of vote—Joao Bernardo VIEIRA 52%, Koumba YALLA 48%

    Legislative branch: unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (100 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve a maximum of four years)
    elections: last held 3 July and 7 August 1994 (next to be held by NA)
    election results: percent of vote by party—PAIGC 46.0%, RGB-MB 19.2%, PRS 10.3%, UM 12.8%, FLING 2.5%, PCD 5.3%, PUSD 2.9%, FCG 0.2%, others 0.8%; seats by party—PAIGC 62, RGB 19, PRS 12, UM 6, FLING 1

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal da Justica, consists of 9 justices who are appointed by the president and serve at his pleasure, final court of appeals in criminal and civil cases; Regional Courts, one in each of nine regions, first court of appeals for sectoral court decisions, hear all felony cases and civil cases valued at over $1,000; 24 Sectoral Courts, judges are not necessarily trained lawyers, hear civil cases under $1,000 and misdemeanor criminal cases

    Political parties and leaders: African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde or PAIGC [Manuel Saturnino da COSTA, secretary general]; Front for the Liberation and Independence of Guinea or FLING [Jose Katengul M. ENDES]; Guinea-Bissau Resistance-Ba Fata Movement or RGB-MB [Domingos FERNANDES Gomes]; Guinean Civic Forum or FCG [Antonieta Rosa GOMES]; International League for Ecological Protection or LIPE [Alhaje Bubacar DJALO, president]; National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Abubacer BALDE, secretary general]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Victor MANDINGA]; Social Renovation Party or PRS [Koumba YALLA, leader]; Union for Change or UM [Jorge MANDINGA, president, Dr. Anne SAAD, secretary general]; United Social Democratic Party or PUSD [Victor Sau'de MARIA]

    International organization participation: ACCT (associate), ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, MONUA, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WAEMU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Henrique Adriano DA SILVA
    chancery: Suite 519, 1511 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
    telephone: [1] (202) 347-3950
    FAX: [1] (202) 347-3954

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US Embassy suspended operations on 14 June 1998 in the midst of violent conflict between forces loyal to President VIEIRA and military-led junta

    Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and green with a vertical red band on the hoist side; there is a black five-pointed star centered in the red band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)