Guinea-Bissau Experiences a Series of Coups
In Nov. 1980, Joo Bernardo Vieira headed a military coup that deposed Luis Cabral, president since 1974. In his 19 years of rule, Vieira was criticized for crony capitalism and corruption and for failing to alleviate the poverty of Guinea-Bissau, one of the world's poorest countries. Vieira also brought in troops from Senegal and the Republic of Guinea to help fight against an insurgency movement, a highly unpopular act. In May 1999 rebels deposed Vieira.
Following a period of military rule, Kumba Yal, a former teacher and popular leader of Guinea-Bissau's independence movement, was elected president in 2000. In Sept. 2003 he was deposed in a military coup. Yal's increasingly repressive measures and refusal to hold elections were cited as causes. In 2005, former president Vieira returned from six years of exile in Portugal and won the presidency in the July 2005 elections.
Prime Minister Aristides Gomes resigned in April 2007, after Parliament voted to censure his government. Martinho Ndafa Kabi was appointed as his successor. President Vieira dissolved Parliament in August 2008, precipitating the fall of the government of Prime Minister Kabi. Former prime minister Carlos Gomes Jnior succeeded Kabi.