counter-coups have so wobbled Guinea-Bissau that its leaders come and go,
leaving the country in a fragile state. The incumbent president Joao Bernardo
Vieira, for instance, has ruled intermittently since 1980.
the country seems to be settling down politically, there is now a reported gun
attack on the presidential home in the wake of the parliamentary election that
was held last weekend. The African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau
and Cape Verde (PAIGC), the former ruling party, won 67 of the 100 National
Assembly seats. The Republican Party for Independence and Development (PRID), on the
other hand, won only three seats.
happened in Guinea-Bissau is hardly surprising, because
elections usually spell trouble in Africa. Losers do not accept defeat with grace; instead,
they claim they are being cheated. This sometimes leads to stalemate
accompanied by tension, or outright violence, as we have seen in recently in
some countries. In Guinea-Bissau, Koumba Yala, leader of the Social
Renewal Party, has already suggested that the poll was rigged when he said he
would "never accept fabricated results". That is the typical African
politician's reaction to an electoral defeat.
the gun attack on the presidential home in Guinea-Bissau. It is counterproductive in every
way. With fears mounting about Guinea-Bissau degenerating into a narco-state,
there is no point worsening the situation by attempting an unlawful change of
government, which could plunge the country into chaos. The present leadership
needs the fullest co-operation of all the political actors in the country to
enable it to put the economy on a sound footing. That is the only way the
country can avoid being taken over by drug barons who are said to be thriving
in the former Portuguese colony.
Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should be
seen to deal severely with junta so that power-hungry soldiers do not force
themselves into power under any pretext. When Al Gore lost to President Bush in
2000, America did not go up in flames. African
politicians should learn to keep their houses in order to avoid being ridiculed
in the international community.
are celebrated when they are no longer dangerous." [if supportFields]>tc
""Revolutions are celebrated when they are no longer dangerous." "