Guinea-Bissau’s junta has named a failed presidential candidate to govern the country for two years. The United Nations has condemned the move in West Africa’s narcotics hub. The naming of Manuel Serifo Nhamajo, the former speaker of parliament, to head an interim government was made jointly late Thursday by the military – whose coup last week preempted a presidential election runoff – and Guinea-Bissau’s main opposition, the Party for Social Renewal. Nhamajo’s nomination was immediately rejected by the ousted governing party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Its secretary general, Luis Olivares, described the appointment as “unconstitutional.”
Similarly, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it “strongly condemned” Nhamajo’s installation, describing it as an illegal initiative. ECOWAS added that it planned an emergency summit next week to discuss the fate of the former Portuguese colony. In the election process aborted last week by the junta, Nhamajo had come only third, with 15.75 percent, trailing the then leading candidate and former premier Carlos Gomes Junior of the governing PAIGC.