Malam Bacai Sanha inaugurated as Guinea-Bissau new president

8 Sep 2009

Malam Bacai Sanha inaugurated as Guinea-Bissau new president

8 September 2009 - Malam Bacai Sanhá today was officially inaugurated as Guinea-Bissau new President of Republic for a five-year term. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Bissau's stadium 24 de Setembro and brought together approximately 15,000 persons despite the rain.


Five West-African Head of States representing Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal attended the ceremony.

The United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Haile Menkerios, represented the Secretary-General at the ceremony. The Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Country Configuration on Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador Maria Luiza Viotti, was also present.

In his statement, Malam Bacai Sanhá called upon the "United Nations to pay special attention to the country" and stressed that reconciliation, fight against impunity, security sector reform and better conditions for women and youth are among his priorities.

The new Guinea-Bissau's President also said that he expects that the country will keep receiving "support and solidarity from international community".

Malam Bacai Sanhá was elected in a presidential run-off on 26 June. The elections were organized following the assassination of the president João Bernardo Vieira on 2 March 2009, twenty-four hours after the killing of the Head of the Army.

Sanhá, 62, served as interim president in 1999 and Speaker of the Parliament from 1994 to 1999. He is a former minister of Information and Telecommunication as well as Public Administration Reform and one of the historical leaders of PAIGC.