Guinea Bissau rivals reach agreement to end year of infighting

Prime Minister Baciro Dja will remain in office until 2018

14:17 October 15, 2016

Bissau: Political rivals in the West African state of Guinea Bissau have agreed to allow Prime Minister Baciro Dja to remain in office until 2018 as part of talks to end more than a year of infighting.

The rivals signed an agreement on Friday in the capital of Conakry for the implementation of a September 10 framework that aims to end the crisis in the former Portuguese colony.

The 10-point agreement, which was signed in the presence of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and a United Nations mediator, states that Dja can stay until legislative elections in 2018, an emailed statement for the office of the presidency said.

President Jose Mario Vaz fired the previous prime minister in 2015, sparking paralysis among political institutions. Dja, who was appointed in May, has been unable to ease the deadlock among lawmakers.

Guinea Bissau has had a succession of coups or attempted coups since 1980. The UN is concerned Islamist militants may seek to expand in the region if the crisis is not resolved.

“The constitutional reform will be made within the framework of a wide national consultation taking into account the existing structures of revision,” the statement said, adding that ECOWAS and the United Nations will provide constitutional experts.

The agreement also foresees an inclusive government according to an organisation chart negotiated with all the political parties represented in parliament, the statement said.

Rivals agreed on the adoption of a stability pact, which aims to reform the constitution to establish stable relations between the executive, legislative and judicial powers.