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GUINEA-BISSAU: President Vaz names Aristides Gomes as new PM

Guinea-Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz appointed veteran politician Aristides Gomes as prime minister on Monday, according to a decree read on state-owned media, in an attempt to end a prolonged political crisis.

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The nomination followed a weekend summit of ECOWAS leaders during which Vaz agreed to honour a 2016 deal brokered by the West African bloc that sought to end more than two years of political turmoil in the tiny, former Portuguese colony.

Vaz has been embroiled in a bitter dispute within his own ruling African Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) that has hobbled the government.

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Gomes – a member of the PAIGC’s central committee who served as prime minister from 2005 to 2007 – was chosen by representatives of the party during the summit in Togo, the president said on Saturday.

ECOWAS hit Vaz’s political and business allies with sanctions in February, including travel bans and asset freezes, for undermining the deal which requires the president to name a concensus prime minister.

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