Guinea-Bissau president appoints ex-minister Baciro Dja as new PM

Guinea-Bissau's new Prime Minister Baciro Dja (pictured on April 12, 2012) was sworn in despite angry protests from the ruling party, deepening a political crisis (AFP Photo/Sia Kambou)

Bissau (AFP) - Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz on Thursday appointed former minister Baciro Dja as prime minister a week after he sacked the government in a spat with the former premier.

The chronically unstable west African nation has been in limbo since Vaz fired Domingos Simoes Pereira over a series of disputes including the naming of a new army chief.

After Pereira was dismissed, the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) -- of which he is the leader -- renominated him as their candidate, to no avail.

A presidential decree said that after all the constitutional formalities, including analysis of previous legislative election results and consultation with political parties in parliament, Dja, 39, also formerly the government spokesman, would replace Pereira.

The coup prone nation's latest military putsch in 2012 threw Guinea-Bissau into chaos and it has barely begun to recover following last year's election.

Vaz said his fallout with the premier stemmed partly from the appointment of a new armed forces chief, a key post in the small nation known as a hub in drug trafficking between South America and Europe.

In March 2009, political veteran Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, who had led the country on and off since 1980, was assassinated by soldiers in apparent revenge for the killing of the then army chief.

Vaz also raised the closure of the border with Guinea over an Ebola outbreak and cited problems of corruption and nepotism, a lack of transparency in public procurement and alleged obstruction of the judiciary.

The president is also a member of the PAIGC party, which fought for independence from Portugal and has a slender majority in the national assembly with 57 of 102 lawmakers.