Officially: República da Guiné-Bissau.
English: Guinea-Bissau.
Seat of government: Bissau.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is directly elected. Parliament (Assembleia Nacional Popular) is elected by party-list proportional representation.
Governing party: Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde.
Heads of government: José Mário Vaz, PAIGC, president (since 2014); Umaro Sissoco Embaló, PAIGC, prime minister (since 2016).
Other parliamentary parties: Partido da Renovação Social; Partido de Nova Democracia; Partido da Convergência Democrática; Partido Republicano para Independência e Desenvolvimento; União para a Mudança.
Recent history: Traditionally unstable, with frequent military interference. The election (in late 1999 and early 2000) and inauguration of opposition leader Kumba Yalá brought an end to the one-party state of the PAIGC; but Yalá also showed signs of intolerance towards the opposition, including arresting numerous members of the PAIGC, and failed to hold parliamentary elections on schedule, in what appeared to be a partisan dispute. The army then overthrew him in 2003; chief of staff Veríssimo Seabre Correia declared himself president, but then gave way to a civilian interim president, Henrique Rosa, and interim prime minister, Artur Sanha. The elections eventually took place in 2004 under international observation, with the PAIGC placing first, and Yalá’s party, the PRS, placing second. Seabre, probably still the most powerful person in the state, was killed by mutineers. An election to replace Rosa was held in 2005, officially won by João Bernardo (Nino) Vieira, the former dictator (1980-1999). Vieira (2005-9) had numerous prime ministers — Carlos Gomes, Aristides Gomes, Martinho Ndafa Kabi, and Carlos Correia. The official results of the 2008 parliamentary elections led to a near electoral majority, and a large parliamentary majority, for the PAIGC. In 2009 March, Vieira was killed by soldiers, apparently in revenge shortly after army chief of staff Batista Tagme na Waie, a Vieira rival, was killed by another group of soldiers. An election to replace Vieira was held in 2009; in a runoff, Malam Bacai Sanhá (2009-12) of the PAIGC defeated Yalá. Sanhá died in office; an election for a permanent replacement saw Carlos Gomes of the PAIGC win 49% in the first round; he faced Yalá in a runoff. Before this could be held, a coup took place, with Gomes (then acting prime minister) and the PAIGC as primary targets, and Mamadu Ture Kuruma emerging as the junta leader; a transitional government was established, nominally under Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo. Presidential and legislative elections were held in 2014, with PAIGC winning the presidency in a runoff, as well as a majority in the assembly.
FH: 6-5, not free. Econ: 1.43 (166), authoritarian.
Updated: 2017 March 27.