Guinea-Bissau: Economy minister resigns because of deputy prime minister

Guinea-Bissau’s minister of economy, Vitor Mandinga, resigned because he considered that he had been stripped of his powers with the appointment of the deputy prime minister, Soares Sambú, he said in a letter sent to Lusa.

The president of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, appointed on Tuesday Soares Sambú as deputy prime minister of the country, minister of the presidency of the cabinet meeting and coordinator for the economic area.

This appointment, Vitor Mandinga pointed out in his letter, meant the powers of decision and the chain of command of the government actions of the minister of the economy were changed regarding the framework of his appointment.

“This will result in practice in the removal of my powers,” he said in his letter to the prime minister, Nuno Nabiam.

The minister pointed out that in recent months he has realised that his vision of reforms and economic policy measures is different from that of the current deputy prime minister.

Mandinga said that another reason why he was resigning is that he does not support to the state budget for 2021, because it does not consider the reform of the Civil Service, which he considers essential for the country’s development.

He advocated an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to guarantee a dignified way out for civil servants, stressing that it is more rational to invest all at once than for the state to go into debt for decades to pay salaries to civil servants.

“I do not think I have been understood in this matter, so there was the superior decision to approve the budget as it stands,” he said.

Mandinga has the same position regarding the National Development Plan 2020-2023, which is not incorporated in the budget.

“The decision to put the country in debt to modernise and rehabilitate our infrastructure must be taken and pursued in a context of transparency and democratic control,” he said.

Mandinga was elected by the Movement for Democratic Alternation (Madem-G15) after he left the Democratic Convergence Party, eventually joining the government of Nuno Gomes Nabiam.