"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 4 2020

Title

GUINEA-BISSAU: POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND ELECTORAL PROCESSES

DOI

10.31857/S032150750009090-1

Аuthor

Tatyana S. DENISOVA
PhD (History), Leading Research Fellow, Centre for Tropical Africa Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Sergey V. KOSTELYANETS
PhD (Political Science), Leading Research Fellow, Centre for Sociological and Political Sciences Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Senior Research Fellow, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Associate Professor, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Abstract:

   The year 2019 in Guinea-Bissau was marked by two extremely important events: in September, the country celebrated the 45th Anniversary of Independence, and in December, Umaro Sissoco Embalό, a representative of the Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), won the presidential election.

   Just like in other African countries, the processes of decolonization and social transformation in Guinea-Bissau were not smooth, largely because former fighters for independence, who have been in power for almost the entire period of post-colonial development, have not always followed the very ideals in which they themselves believed when they were liberating the country from the Portuguese colonialists and making plans for the establishment of a sovereign state.

   As a result, after gaining independence, Guinea-Bissau was in a state of permanent political instability: military coups took place in the country, governments were dissolved, political assassinations became commonplace - all this against the background of a weak economic development and massive poverty of the population.

   Nowhere in the world do individual countries reflect the character of their presidents so strongly as in Africa. The path of national development often depends solely on who is heading the nation. A new strongman comes, and the country may begin to move in a completely different direction. The peaceful transfer of power that took place in Guinea-Bissau and the relative stabilization of the domestic political situation make it possible to hope that under the new regime this small West African state, with which Russia has had friendly relations since Amilkar Cabral, will be able to solve its main problems and begin to move in the direction that will contribute most to its effective political and socio-economic development.

   The article discusses the causes and precursors of political instability and potential stabilization in Guinea-Bissau; electoral processes are analyzed and characters of political leaders who have left the greatest trace in the history of the country are scrutinized.

Keywords:

Guinea-Bissau, political leaders, political parties, electoral processes, coups d'état

Pages 34-41