GUINEA BISSAU The 2019 Election


Elections took place in Guinea Bissau in November 2019. In January 2020 the United Nations confirms “UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election”. UN envoy was Mohamed Ibn Chambas, in 2020 the Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), a rather odd selection of geography including countries that have little in common, another United Nations’ doomed strategy because integration is not possible among countries that have little ot nothing in common. In the election’s second round held on 29-December-2019, Umaro Sissoco Embaló (a former military chief) won with a 54 percent of the vote, he had been Prime Minister between 2016-2018, beating another former Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in the second round, Pereira alleging fraud. I have time and again manifested in this manuscript that military chiefs should never run for office, as the risk of democratic rule turning authoritarian and despotic is rather high.

Umaro Sissoco Embalo’s party Madem G15 was formed in 2018 by 15 former PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) members. In other words the November 2019 presented citizens with the exceptional opportunity of choosing between two former Prime Ministers that in addition belong in the same party/ideology. This is a drama and nothing will change in Guinea Bissau beyond the usual. Politics –as understood and promoted by the United Nations- only causes polarization, discontent and later on confrontation. It is a doomed paradigm, as I explain in Chapter 0 Introduction, particularly in the developing world.

In January 2020 BBC comfirns “Former PM Embalo wins presidential election”. BBC describes the previous president’s term as follows:

He was the first head of state to carry out his term without being either deposed or assassinated, but his tenure was marred by issues including political infighting and widespread allegations of corruption.

Winning a democratic election –something that has not happened in Rwanda since 2000- is the first step of a process requiring hundreds of steps well accomplished, this when an election is between competent and competitive individuals originating in different philosophies having drafted a plan. In Guinea Bissau none of these prerequisites actually held before the November 2019 election. BBC identifies poverty and drug trafficking as Guinea Bissau’s two most pressing problems, a clear sign that BBC has not done the homework of studying more carefully Guinea Bissau’s underlying problems.

Guinea Bissau was in 2020 the World’s tenth poorest nation, only ahead of Burundi #1, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Togo. Webometrics does not list a single university in Guinea Bissau, and among the universities with campus in Guinea Bissau only Universidade Jean Piaget has a webpage. Universidade Amílcar Cabral suspended activities in 2008 to only resume them in 2013, was in 2020 Guinea Bissau’s only public university in addition not ranked and does not have a webpage. Guinea Bissau is so poor and small that it is oftentimes not included in international rankings, for instance in the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Report and Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, in Insead’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index or the World Happiness Report.

Guinea Bissau needs first of all to demilitarize and reduce the military expenditure to zero, a process the president elected in 2019, as former military chief, should begin, a process that will bring the probability of subsequent coups to zero, a process that surprisingly the United Nations’ so-called special envoy has not even suggested, why is this envoy called “special”?. A poor nation that in addition faces no threats –certainly not from Portugal anymore- needs no army, and whatever military expenditure is being spent in 2020 must be shifted immediately to education and healthcare, there is no excuse for not doing so immediately and not doing so immediately will carry severe consequences.

Guinea Bissau has one essential problem: nobody has ever drafted an action plan to present to Guinea Bissauans. This manuscript challenges the past and Guinea Bissau’s entire establishment, confronting them, to propose a most wonderful future beyond imagination. Only the ver best will be able to lead Guinea Bissau forward, the very best experts working as a team. In Liberia the very best footballer was elected president in 2017 with fatal consequences only two years later, a country The Economist called “a country on the edge”. I warned George Weah the day before the election in 2017 he should not run for office, as follows:

Dear George Weah, I trust and hope you will not become President of Liberia today. You have no credentials whatsoever. It is like me trying to play for Real Madrid and actually making it to the team because fans with no idea support my aspiration. The alternative Vice President Joseph Boakai is a much better candidate than you. If he wins he may count on my pro-bono services, effective immediately.

A footballer that thinks his superstar status will allow him to be as good in any other sport –including politics- is not only naive, but risks losing his superstar reputation and credibility in the discipline where he excelled. George Weah was considered an idol in his native Liberia in 2017, in 2020 he was a villain. I am confident Liberians will have learned the lesson, it is tough medicine but a medicine that if digested properly can serve in fact as a catalyst.

The same principle, I am afraid, applies to a military-chief, who would in any case excel as Minister of Defense, but not as president or prime minister, a post that requires training in economics and in engineering at the master’s level, at least. I predict in 2020 the same outcome for the incumbent president as George Weah’s, whose doomed first two years in office will become a nightmare in the second half of his mandate.

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