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Malam Bacai Sanhá

Guinea Bissau

Malam Bacai Sanhá born on 5 May 1947, is a Guinea-Bissau politician and former acting President. He held that post from 14 May 1999 to 17 February 2000.

More by user: miba
Created: 22nd Jul 2008
Modified: 22nd Jul 2008
Professional Information
Working primarily in:
Guinea Bissau

Description of Work:
A long-time member of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), Sanhá served as governor of the Gabú and Bafatá regions and held several cabinet ministries before becoming President of the National People's Assembly in 1994. A Civil War broke out in June 1998 between elements of the army loyal to General Ansumane Mane and those loyal to President João Bernardo Vieira; on November 26, 1998, Sanhá addressed the first session of the National People's Assembly since the beginning of the war. Although he was critical of both the rebels and Vieira, he focused more of his criticism on Vieira. Following the ouster of Vieira on May 7, 1999, Sanhá was appointed as acting President by the military junta led by Mane on May 11. His appointment to succeed Vieira was intended to be in accordance with the constitution, and he was to serve until new elections could be held later in the year. Sanhá was sworn in on May 14, promising peace and an end to political persecution.

In the first round of the subsequent presidential election, held on 28 November 1999, Sanhá finished second with 23.37% of the vote. In the run-off, held on 16 January 2000, he won only 28.0% of the vote against Kumba Ialá's 72.0%. The military junta led by Mane supported his candidacy.

Following a 2003 military coup that ousted Ialá and a period of transitional rule, new presidential elections were held on 19 June 2005 in which the three former presidents (Sanhá, Vieira and Ialá) were the main candidates. Sanhá, running again as the PAIGC candidate, finished first with 35.45% of the vote. Former head of state João Bernardo Vieira finished second with 28.87% of the vote. Despite the lead in the first round, Sanhá lost to Vieira in the run-off that took place on July 24, 2005, 47.65% to 52.35%. He refused to accept the results, however, vowing to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Sanhá is a candidate for the position of President of PAIGC at the party's Seventh Ordinary Congress in April 2008. He is challenging the incumbent party president, Carlos Gomes Júnior‎, for the leadership.
Biographical Information
Malam Bacai Sanhá
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: May/5/1947
Gender: male
Interests: Politic, Art, Sport, Culture
Place of Origin: Guinea Bissau

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