Guinea-Bissau's Divided Ruling Party Picks New Prime Minister

(Bloomberg) -- Guinea-Bissau’s president agreed with a rival faction of his party on a prime ministerial candidate as regional African leaders intervened to help end a political crisis of almost three years in one of the world’s poorest countries.

President Jose Mario Vaz will name Aristides Gomes as a “consensus” prime minister on April 17, the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement after a leaders’ summit in Togo’s capital, Lome, on Saturday. Gomes previously served in the role for about 18 months from 2005 to 2007.

The appointment is part of a process to end a stalemate within Guinea-Bissau’s ruling African Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde over the dismissal of former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira in August 2015, which has threatened stability in the former Portuguese colony of less than 2 million people. The factions also agreed that parliament will reopen on April 19 to ratify electoral reforms ahead of a legislative vote scheduled for November 18, according to the Ecowas statement.

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