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Guinea Bissau President Malam Bacai Sanha Dies in Paris Hospital

Guinea-Bissau's President Malam Bacai Sanha died in a hospital in Paris of diabetes complications on Monday as a new presidential election was planned in three months, according to a statement released by Guinea-Bissau's presidency.

The statement said that the 64-year-old president, who has been hospitalized by the French Val de Grace hospital since Aug. 31 last year, died on Monday morning.

It said a presidential is planned to be held in three months, during which the head of the country's National Assembly Raimundo Pereira will take over as the acting president of Guinea-Bissau.

Sanha, a diabetic, has been in poor health and frequently hospitalized abroad since he won the presidential election in 2009 after the assassination of former president Nino Vieira and ex- army chief Batista Tagm na Wai in March of the year.

The military of Guinea-Bissau foiled a coup attempt in the West African country last month, the latest mutiny attempt in the West African nation with a population of 1.7 million, killing one and arresting around 30 others.

Sanha lapsed into a coma at that time before a statement from the country's foreign ministry said that after a 48-hour coma, the president has been out of danger and was getting better. It said Sanha left the emergency ward after that.

The opposition aired its concerns over Guinea-Bissau's security situation, cautioning a power vacuum.

Political tension has always been high after Sanha was hospitalized. Guinea Bissau's opposition Social Renewal Party has constantly urged the resignation of the country's Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, accusing him of the involvement in the assassination of two parliament members in the country. The head of the opposition even threatened to burn down the residence of the president last September if he continued to keep Gomes as the prime minister.

The country has seen a series of coups and coup attempts since its independence from Portugal in September 1973.

It was planning to start demobilizing about 400 of its soldiers starting late this month, the country's Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior has recently said.

Although Guinea-Bissau has become more stable and made economic reforms, the UN Security Council was still concerned at the country's persisting transnational organized crimes which it said last year had threatened the country's peace and security.

Sanha once vowed to crack down on the country's crime, drug trafficking and corruption.

 

 

 

 

Web Editor: Zhangxu

Xinhua

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