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Leaders of Guinea-Bissau Since Independence

A list of Bissau-Guinean leaders since declaring independence on 24 September 1973

Luís Cabral, who had taken leadership of the Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC, African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) after his brother's assassination, became Guinea-Bissau's first president1. Cabral came to power after an extended guerrilla war against Portuguese rule in a country which was devastated economically. Rebounding from one crisis to another, Cabral was unable to initiate reform, and was removed from power in a military coup in 1980 by his prime minister (Major) João Vieira.

In 1984 a National People's Assembly was elected, and Vieira was confirmed as Head of State, although the country remained under a one-party system. During the 80s Vieira's government attempted to liberalize the country's economy, but failed to make major improvements.

In 1991 multi-party democracy was reintroduced. In national elections in 1994, Vieira was elected president of the Republic, beating the Partido para a Renovaçao Social (PRS, Social Renewal Party) leader Kumba Yalá.

In 1998 Vieira dismissed the army chief-of-stafe, Ansumane Mané. The army mutinied and a civil war began which lasted for 11 months and led to Vieira's overthrow by Mané in 1999. In the elections which were held shortly afterwards, Malam Bacai Sanhá for the PAIGC took the presidency. In new elections the following year the PRS won a majority and Kumba Yalá took power.

Following a successful military coup in 2003, Henrique Pereira Rosa acted as interim president for a caretaker government.

In 2005 Vieira returned to power, until his death on 2 March 2009. He was succeeded by Raimundo Pereira for the PAIGC as an interim president until Malam Bacai Sanhá was elected in September 2009. Sanhá died on 9 January 2012, and Raimundo Pereira returned as interim president. Pereira was removed from office by a military coup in April 2012, and after a brief period of military command, the civilian presidency passed to Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo.

Head of State
Chairman of the Council of State
24 Sep 19731 — 14 Nov 1980 Luís de Almeida Cabral PAIGC

Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Council
14 Nov 1980 — 14 May 1984 João Bernardo Vieira PAIGC

Chairman of the National People's Assembly
4 May 1984 — 16 May 1984 Carmen Pereira PAIGC

Chairman of the Council of State
16 May 1984 — 29 Sep 1994 João Bernardo Vieira PAIGC

President of the Republic
29 Sep 1994 — 7 May 1999 João Bernardo Vieira PAIGC

Chairman of the Supreme Command of the Military Junta
7 May 1999 — 13 May 1999 Ansumane Mané

President of the Republic
13 May 1999 — 17 Feb 2000 Malam Bacai Sanhá PAIGC
17 Feb 2000 — 14 Sep 2003 Kumba Yalá PRS

President of the Military Committee for the Restitution of Constitutional and Democratic Order
14 Sep 2003 - 28 Sep 2003 Veríssimo Correia Seabra

President of the Republic
28 Sep 2003 — 1 Oct 2005 Henrique Pereira Rosa
1 Oct 2005 — 2 Mar 2009 João Bernardo Vieira PAIGC
3 Mar 2009 — 8 Sep 2009 Raimundo Pereira PAIGC
8 Sep 2009 — 9 Jan 2012 Malam Bacai Sanhá PAIGC
9 Jan 2012 — 12 Apr 2012 Raimundo Pereira PAIGC

Head of Military Command
12 Apr 2012 — 11 May 2012 Mamadou Touré Kuruma

President of the Republic (Transitional Government)
11 May 2012 — Present Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo

1 Guinea-Bissau declared independence on 24 September 1973, it was actually granted independence by Portugal on 10 September 1974.

Key to Political Parties
PAIGC Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde
(African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde)
PRS Partido para a Renovaçao Social
(Social Renewal Party)

More on the History of Guinea-Bissau
A Very Short History of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau Timeline -- Prehistory to Present Day

Bissau-Guinean Leaders
Luís de Almeida Cabral

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