Formation of new government delayed again

Uncertainty still shrouds the formation of a government of national unity in Guinea Bissau because one of President Joao Bernardo Vieira’s appointees to the cabinet has still not agreed to join, news reports said today.

The Portuguese news agency, Lusa, reported that Vieira and Prime Minister designate Francisco Fadul were to meet today to finalise the composition of the government. Fadul, speaking on the Lisbon-based RDP Antena 1 radio yesterday (Sunday), said that Vieira told him some presidential appointees were not available to serve. No reason was given for their refusal.

Vieira had appointed five ministers and three junior ministers and the Junta four ministers and four junior ministers, Reuters reported yesterday, quoting a Western diplomat in Bissau. Reuters said the junta appointed Francisco Benante as defence minister and Aboubakjar Dahaba as the minister of economy and finance. Vieira named a woman, Ilia Barber, as foreign minister, it said.