Guinea-Bissau - Government

The 1973 constitution was suspended following the 1980 coup. A constitution was ratified on 16 May 1984 by the reestablished National People's Assembly. In April 1991 a new constitution, providing for a multipary system, was adopted.

The Assembly and the regional councils are the nation's representative bodies. The popularly elected councils elect the 150-member (now 100-member) Assembly from their own ranks, and the Assembly in turn elects a 15-member Council of State as the nation's executive body. The president of this council, whom the Assembly also elects, automatically becomes head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. Before multiple parties were authorized in 1991, all Assembly members had to be members of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

The President, Koumba Yala, was sworn in on 17 February 2000. The President appoints the prime minister, who presides over the Council of Ministers, last nominated in January 2000. In March 2000, President Yala decided to assign five cabinet portfolios to the military junta to diffuse tensions. He reshuffled and enlarged the cabinet in June 2003 ostensibly to broaden his political support. Next Assembly elections were scheduled for August-September 2003.

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