Umaro Sissoco Embalo, the opposition candidate who was declared the winner of the February 4 presidential run-off, has announced that his inauguration will be held on Thursday, February 27. Embalo made his announcement through a social media post on Sunday, February 23, but did not specify the time or location of the event. However, he did say that the ceremony will be subdued as the country continues to struggle with poverty and corruption.
A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are anticipated around the inauguration venue. Associated political protest are possible, particularly in the capital Bissau.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) reported that Embalo secured 53.55 percent of the vote in the first round on December 29, while his rival, Domingos Simoes Pereira, won 46.45 percent. Following the NEC announcement, Pereira condemned the Electoral Commission's lack of transparency while claiming the run-off was marked by electoral fraud. This second-round verification was requested by the Supreme Court following Pereira's appeals, and as advised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following the tensions of the election results in early January.
Guinea-Bissau has experienced a period of political uncertainty since August 2015, when President José Mario Vaz dismissed then-Prime Minister Pereira, leader of the president's own party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). President Vaz has suffered increasing unpopularity and only received 12 percent of the vote during the first round of the presidential election on November 24.
Guinea-Bissau has struggled with government stability, facing multiple attempted coups, since gaining independence from Portugal in 1973.
Individuals in Guinea-Bissau are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.