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Guinea-Bissau gets new government

Bissau -

Guinea-Bissau's prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira presented his new government on Friday, less than two weeks after the president vowed to fight poverty and bring stability to the impoverished West African nation.

Jose Mario Vaz, former finance minister and a candidate for the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau, attends his closing electoral rally. Picture: Seylou. Credit: AFP

Pereira's 16-minister cabinet is dominated by members of President Jose Mario Vaz's African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), a decree published in the capital Bissau showed.

Pereira, an engineer, was named prime minister on June 25 and sworn in on Thursday.

The 57-year-old Vaz is Guinea-Bissau's first elected leader since the army mutinied in 2012, plunging into chaos a state already in the grip of powerful cocaine cartels and beset by political violence.

“The chronic instability in which our country finds itself is not the cause of our problems,” Vaz has said, blaming instead “the extreme poverty... which we will all fight.”

The former Portuguese colony is the only West African nation to have achieved independence through military force and, since 1974, the army and state have been in constant, often deadly, competition. - Sapa-AFP

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