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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK
Interim government takes over Bissau
Coup leader General Verissimo Correia Seabre
General Seabre (right) promised he would not stay in power

A new civilian administration in Guinea-Bissau has been sworn in, two weeks after the army seized power in a bloodless coup.

A businessman, Henrique Rosa, has taken over as interim president, and will head a transitional government.

A new prime minister, Antonio Artur Sanha, was also appointed. Both were chosen by the coup leaders.

The swearing-in followed the signing of an agreement by the ruling military council and political parties designed to pave the way for parliamentary elections in six months time and for presidential elections a year later.

Disputes between political parties had delayed the agreement, but a last-minute deal led to all but one of them signing the document.

The National Transition Council, which brings together political representatives in a quasi-parliamentary role until a general election, was also formally set in place.

The council is presided over by General Verissimo Seabra Correia, the armed forces chief who led the coup.

Support

During the ceremony in the capital, Bissau, General Correia said the consensus over the choice of Mr Rosa as president was a sign of his honesty.

"This honesty will be required throughout the duration of your mandate," he said.

"The task awaiting you will not be easy, but you can count on our support," he added.

Since the coup, the junta has insisted that it has no intention of holding on to power.

Several African countries, as well as the United Nations, originally condemned the coup and called for the reinstatement of ousted President Kumba Yala.

But the army refused to give ground and there was said to be relief among many ordinary people that the president had been removed.

Mr Kumba Yala had repeatedly postponed elections after he dissolved parliament last year.


SEE ALSO:
New Bissau PM 'rejected'
23 Sep 03  |  Africa
Q&A: Guinea-Bissau coup
14 Sep 03  |  Africa
Guinea-Bissau 'back to normal'
15 Sep 03  |  Africa
Army chief takes over in Bissau
14 Sep 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Guinea-Bissau
04 Sep 01  |  Country profiles


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