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PAIGC chooses president of Guinea Bissau’s parliament 11 December 2008

The PAIGC, the party that won November’s legislative elections in Guinea Bissau, has nominated Raimundo Pereira as president of the country’s parliament. A PAIGC vice-president and practicing lawyer, Raimundo Pereira was chosen in a meeting of the party’s Central Committee in Bissau.

The definitive naming of Raimundo Pereira still depends on a decision by the country’s legislators, who will make a pronouncement regarding his nomination during the first session of the 8th legislature. Pereira’s position is not yet guaranteed, as legislator Hélder Proença, a former Defense Minister who was overlooked by the PAIGC’s Central Committee for the post, has affirmed he will present his candidacy as National People’s Assembly president.

Proença, a well-known adversary of PAIGC leader Carlos Gomes Jr., affirmed that the process leading to Raimundo Pereira’s nomination was undemocratic. “The legislators are sovereign and will decide who can be president of the National People’s Assembly,” said Proença, justifying his intention to “challenge” the candidate proposed by his party, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

In addition to Pereira and Proença, outgoing National People’s Assembly president Francisco Benante also intends to run for re-election. The date for the first session of the new parliament, however, has yet to be determined, as the country is awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court of Justice on complaints presented by three different political parties regarding the results of the November 16 legislative elections.

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