Guinea-Bissau's former ruling party, which was ousted by soldiers on April 12, on Friday rejected a proposal by regional leaders for a new interim leader to lead a transition government.

Rui Dia Sousa, secretary general of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape-Verde (PAIGC) said his party “does not recognise” the recommendation made by west African leaders during talks in Dakar on Thursday.

“Our party ... will not take part in any transition government and we re-iterate our position taken since the coup, which is that Raimundo Pereira and Carlos Gomes be returned to their respective posts,” said Sousa.

Pereira, who was named interim president after the death of leader Malam Bacai Sanha in January, was taken prisoner along with former prime minister and presidential candidate Gomes, during the coup.

The putsch aborted an election process in which Gomes was the favourite to win in April 29 run-off polls.

Both men were freed on April 27 and sought refuge in Abidjan.

As the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) tried to restore democratic rule, the coup leader, army chief Antonio Indjai, refused suggestions that Pereira return to his position as interim president.

In Dakar, the heads of state recommended that the National Assembly elect a new speaker who could become interim leader and lead a transition government.

ECOWAS also suggested a consensus prime minister be named, and that both leaders be banned from running in eventual elections.

The heads of state decided to maintain diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions which it announced Sunday “until the protagonists apply the ECOWAS decisions.” - Sapa-AFP