Elections in Guinea-Bissau take place within the framework of a multi-party democracy and a semi-presidential system. Both the President and the National People’s Assembly are directly elected by voters.
The President is elected using the two-round system.
National People’s Assembly
The electoral system used between 1972 and 1989 involved voters electing regional councils, which in turn elected the members of the National People’s Assembly. Voters were presented with a single list of PAIGC candidates to approve or vote against, although in some elections people voted for unofficial candidates. A voter turnout of at least 50% was required to validate the election in each sector.
The country’s current electoral law was passed on 15 May 1985. The National People’s Assembly has 102 directly elected members; 100 are elected from 27 multi-member constituencies, with one single-member constituency representing citizens living abroad in Africa, and one for citizens living in Europe. Voters are required to be at least 18 years old and hold Guinea-Bissau citizenship, whilst candidates had to be at least 21.
The parliamentary elections should resolve the political crisis that the country has been going through since the dismissal in August 2015 by the head of state of its Prime Minister, Domingos Simoes Pereira, leader of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).
Sources and Further Reading:
February 2018 Monthly Forecast, Security Council
Guinea-Bissau president names new premier in bid to end political crisis
UN envoy urges quick elections in Guinea-Bissau
Voter registration begins ahead of Guinea-Bissau elections