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José Mário Vaz

José Mário Vaz
5th President of Guinea-Bissau
In office
23 June 2014 – 27 February 2020
Prime MinisterRui Duarte de Barros (Acting)
Domingos Simões Pereira
Baciro Djá
Carlos Correia
Baciro Djá
Umaro Sissoco Embaló
Artur Silva
Aristides Gomes
Faustino Imbali
Preceded byManuel Serifo Nhamadjo (Acting)
Succeeded byUmaro Sissoco Embaló
Minister of Finance
In office
8 September 2009 – 12 February 2012
Preceded byIssuf Sanhá
Succeeded byAbubacar Demba Dahaba
Personal details
Born (1957-12-10) 10 December 1957 (age 66)
Calequisse, Portuguese Guinea
Political partyPAIGC
SpouseRosa Teixeira Goudiaby

José Mário Vaz (born 10 December 1957) is a Bissau-Guinean politician who served as president of Guinea-Bissau[1] from 23 June 2014 to 27 February 2020.[2]

Vaz in 2014.

Early life

Popularly known by the nickname "Jomav,"[3] José Mário Vaz was born in 1957 to Mário Vaz and Amelia Gomes in Calequisse, outside the city of Cacheu in northern Guinea-Bissau. He is married and has three children. He graduated as an economist in Lisbon and did an internship at the Office of Economic Studies of the Banco de Portugal in 1982.[4]

Political career

In 2004, he was elected as mayor of Bissau,[5] a position he held until 2009,[4] when he was named by President Malam Bacai Sanhá as minister of finance. He and the other ministers were ousted in the 2012 Guinea-Bissau coup d'etat.[6][4]

Raimundo Pereira leader of coup and president of Guinea Bissau.

Vaz is a member of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde and won the right to represent the party in the 2014 presidential election by besting eleven hopefuls during a two-day primary in March 2014.[3][5]

In the first round of the election, held on 13 April 2014, Vaz won 40.9% of the votes, and entered a runoff with the second leading vote-getter, Nuno Gomes Nabiam, who was backed by the military.[7] In the second round, on 18 May 2014, he received 61.9% of the vote.[8] Though Gomes Nabiam initially contested the result, he conceded the election on 22 May 2014.[9]

During the election, Vaz promised to focus on reducing poverty and increasing investment in agriculture,[6] as well as forgiveness for participation in the sorts of criminal activities that have turned Guinea-Bissau into a haven for drug traffickers. After the 2012 coup, he fled to Portugal, but returned in February 2013 and spent three days under arrest.[3] He was accused of being involved in the disappearance of €9.1 million in aid donated to the country by Angola, a charge he denies, and it remains unclear if the donation was ever sent.[10]


Vaz was inaugurated on 23 June 2014. Vaz's inauguration ended a transitional government that emerged in the wake of a coup in April 2012.[11]

Vaz with Indian Prime Minister Modi in October 2015.

When he won the 2014 Guinea-Bissau general election he became president with Domingos Simões Pereira the prime minister. As president a political crisis occurred under his administration with efforts to end this crisis.[12]

Vaz has the peculiarity of being the only president of Guinea-Bissau since independence to be able to finish his five-year term.[13]

Vaz with Indian Minister of State Deo Sai.

The International Monetary Fund met with Vaz and other officials to discuss about economic activity which were supported by fiscal management and a 2018 draft budget.[14]

During his presidency drug trade in Guinea-Bissau took place which made him worried about elections and popularity. He met with council ambassadors of the UN about this.[15]

President Vaz sacked the government with immediate effect which caused a crisis for Guinea-Bissau and the election taking place a month after.[16]

On June 27, 2019, four days after the end of his term, the assembly of Guinea-Bissau chose him as a replacement by the president of the National People's Assembly, Cipriano Cassamá, who until the November elections remained as acting president.[17] On 29 June, ECOWAS decided that Vaz would stay in office until after the 2019 elections.[18]

Vaz ran as an independent in the 2019 elections but received only 12% of the vote in the first round and failed to advance to the second round.[19]

See also


  1. ^ "Guinea-Bissau election: Jose Mario Vaz wins run-off". BBC News. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  2. ^ "José Mário Vaz Presidente eleito da Guiné-Bissau toma posse a 23 de junho". Notícias ao Minuto (in Portuguese). Lusa. 4 June 2014. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Candidato guineense José Mário Vaz promete perdão aos criminosos". DW (in Portuguese). 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "José Mário Vaz venceu as presidenciais da Guiné Bissau". RDP Africa (in Portuguese). 20 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b "José Mário Vaz é o candidato do PAIGC às presidenciais na Guiné-Bissau". Agência Angola Press (in Portuguese). 3 March 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b Dabo, Alberto (18 May 2014). "Guinea-Bissau votes in post-coup presidential runoff". Reuters. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Guinea-Bissau to hold presidential run-off". Al Jazeera English. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  8. ^ Dabo, Alberto (20 May 2014). "Vaz wins Guinea-Bissau presidential vote, loser rejects result". Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  9. ^ Dabo, Alberto; Felix, Bate (22 May 2014). "Guinea-Bissau presidential candidate Nabiam concedes run-off defeat". Reuters. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  10. ^ "José Mário Vaz é o candidato do PAIGC às presidenciais na Guiné-Bissau". Novas da Guiné Bissau (in Portuguese). 3 March 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Policy & History". U.S. Mission to Guinea-Bissau. Retrieved 1 August 2023. Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ "ECOWAS's efforts at resolving Guinea-Bissau's protracted political crisis, 2015-2019". ACCORD. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  13. ^ "Presidente da Guiné-Bissau diz que conclusão de mandato é "marco histórico". África 21 Digital (in Portuguese). 23 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  14. ^ "IMF Staff Concludes Visit to Guinea-Bissau". IMF. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  15. ^ Mallinder, Lorraine. "President worried about drug trade as Guinea-Bissau votes". Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  16. ^ "Guinea-Bissau president fires PM amid political crisis". Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  17. ^ "Guiné-Bissau: Parlamento determina "cessação imediata" das funções do Presidente José Mário Vaz". E-Global (in Portuguese). 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Guinea Bissau president names government in move to end deadlock". Business Day. Agence France-Presse. 4 July 2019. Archived from the original on 13 October 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Guinea-Bissau election: Former PMs advance to runoff vote". Al Jazeera. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
Political offices Preceded byManuel Serifo NhamadjoActing President of Guinea-Bissau 2014–2020 Succeeded byUmaro Sissoco Embaló
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José Mário Vaz
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