HOME -> PARLINE -> GUINEA-BISSAU (Assembleia Nacional Popular)
Print this pagePrint this page
PARLINE database new searchNew search
Assembleia Nacional Popular (People's National Assembly )

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia Nacional Popular / People's National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 16 November 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for 100 of the 102 seats in the National People's Assembly following the dissolution of this body on 5 August 2008. General elections had previously been held in March 2004.
On 25 March 2008, the authorities announced that parliamentary elections, which were originally due by March 2008, would be held on 16 November.

In the previous elections held in March 2004, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won 45 seats in the 100-member People's National Assembly. The PAIGC had been the only political party after the country gained independence from Portugal in 1974 until the first multi-party elections in 1994. The Party for Social Renovation (PRS) came in second with 35 seats. The Social Democratic United Party (PUSD) took 17 and the remaining three seats went to small parties.

President Joao Bernardo Vieira had led the country since a coup in 1980 until he was ousted by the military in 1999. His successor, Mr. Kumba Yala (PRS) was also removed in a coup in 2003. President Vieira regained the presidency in July 2005 by winning the presidential elections as an independent candidate. He was sworn into office in October and subsequently named Mr. Aristide Gomes as his Prime Minister. However, the President's camp never secured a parliamentary majority, resulting in the formation of three different governments before the 2008 elections.

In March 2007, the PAIGC, the PRS and the PUSD signed a "Political Stability Pact" and tabled a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Gomes, forcing him to resign in late March. The following month, President Vieira agreed to name former defence minister, Mr. Martinho Ndafa Kabi (PAIGC), as prime minister. On 17 July the same year, President Vieira announced that parliamentary elections would be held in parallel with the presidential elections in 2009. In late July, the PAIGC withdrew from the Pact after Prime Minister Ndafa Kabi dismissed several high-ranking officials without informing the PAIGC and the other signatories of the Pact.

On 5 August 2008, President Vieira dissolved parliament without specifying the reason. The following day, Rear-Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was placed under house arrest for allegedly plotting a coup. Mr. Na Tchuto fled the country and was subsequently detained in Gambia.

The Constitution provides for the dismissal of the government when parliament is dissolved, and President Vieira appointed Mr. Carlos Correia as the new Prime Minister. His cabinet, sworn in on 9 August, comprised the PAIGC, the PRS, the Republican Party for Independence and Development (PRID), as well as the United People's Alliance (APU). The PRID had been formed in March 2008 by PAIGC dissidents supporting President Vieira, and was led by former prime minister Aristides Gomes.

The 2008 elections were seen as a crucial step towards securing stability in the country of 1.6 million inhabitants. The United Nations, the European Union (EU) as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) helped defray the cost of the elections (US$ 8 million).

Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world. The majority of the country's citizens do not have access to clean water, electricity or adequate sanitation facilities. This provoked a cholera epidemic in October 2008. Prior to the elections, the government was reportedly unable to pay public servants' salaries in a timely manner. High food and fuel prices further worsened the country's fragile economy.

More than 20 parties and coalitions contested the 2008 elections. Major contenders were the PAIGC, led by former prime minister Carlos Gomes Júnior; former president Yala's PRS; and the PRID of former prime minister Aristide Gomes, a close ally of the President. Other parties included another breakaway party from the PRS, the National Democratic Party (PND), and the Alliance of Patriotic Forces (AFP), which had won one seat in the 2004 elections. The PAIGC was widely expected to win a landslide victory.

Many parties initially focused on traditional election issues, promising to provide a stronger economy, better health care and education and more reliable energy supplies. In the run-up to the polls, however, drug trafficking became a major issue after former president Yala (PRS) accused President Vieira of being the country's No. 1 drug trafficker Other parties accused their rivals of being directly or indirectly involved in illicit activities. Guinea-Bissau is considered a hub of drug trafficking between Latin America and Europe. In early October, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited the Security Council to consider imposing sanctions on those responsible for drug trafficking in the country.

A total of 82 per cent of the 600,000 registered voters turned out at the polls. Polling took place without any major incident. For financial reasons, no elections were held for the two seats reserved for Guinea-Bissau citizens living overseas.

More than 150 international observers, including 50 from the EU, monitored the polls. The EU observer mission praised the calm and orderly elections, as well as the high turnout. The United Nations praised the elections as a "victory for democracy".

The PAIGC won 67 seats, securing a two-thirds majority in parliament. The PRS followed with 28 seats. The PRID took three seats. The remainder went to small parties. Former president Yala (PRS) denounced what he considered to be a manipulation of the vote.

On 23 November, there was a failed coup attempt against President Vieira in which one security guard was killed and several others were injured.

On 22 December, the newly elected People's National Assembly held its first session and elected Mr. Raimundo Pereira (PAIGC) as its new Speaker.

On 2 January 2009, Mr. Carlos Gomes Júnior (PAIGC) was sworn in as Prime Minister.

On 2 March, President Vieira was assassinated by a group of soldiers. The following day, Speaker Pereira was sworn in as Acting President, tasked with organizing presidential elections within two months.
Voter turnout
Round no 116 November 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
486'873 (82%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) 227'350 49.52
Party for Social Renovation (PRS) 115'755 25.21
Republican Party for Independence and Development (PRID) 34'341 7.48
New Democracy Party (PND) 10'726 2.34
Democratic Alliance (AD) 6'321 1.38
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) 67 9
Party for Social Renovation (PRS) 28 1
Republican Party for Independence and Development (PRID) 3 0
New Democracy Party (PND) 1 0
Democratic Alliance (AD) 1 0
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- People's National Assembly (19.11.2010, 23.11.2012), 01.01.2014
- Election Commission (06.01.2009)
- http://www.agenciabissau.com/

Copyright 1996-2013 Inter-Parliamentary Union