President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, has dissolved the West African nation’s parliament, according to a presidential decree issued on Monday that cited last week’s shootout which the government said was a failed coup attempt.
“The date for holding the next legislative elections will be set in due time in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. This Presidential Decree comes into force immediately,” the decree stated.
The order referred to the “seriousness,” of the shootout which started in the capital, Bissau, between members of the Presidential Palace Battalion and the National Guard as the former tried to rearrest two ministers released from custody while being investigated for alleged corruption, Associated Press reported.
Guinea-Bissau’s semi-presidential system limits the president’s powers by allowing the majority party in the parliament to appoint the Cabinet. As a result, the National Guard — which is under the Ministry of Interior — is largely controlled by the opposition-dominated parliament.
Tensions have also remained between Embalo and a coalition of opposition groups that won the majority in Guinea-Bissau’s parliament in June, more than one year after the president dissolved the parliament.