Carlos Gomes Júnior - Political Life

Political Life

Prior to the victory of former president Vieira in the mid-2005 presidential election, Gomes said that he would resign if Vieira was elected, referring to the latter as a "bandit and mercenary who betrayed his own people". After Vieira's election, Gomes initially refused to recognize the result, but he also moved away from his earlier threat to resign. Vieira took office on 1 October 2005, and almost two weeks later he and Gomes had a meeting, with Gomes anticipating that the two would be able to work together. However, on 28 October Vieira announced the dissolution of Gomes's government, and a long-time ally of Vieira, Aristides Gomes, was appointed Prime Minister on 2 November 2005.

Following the assassination of former navy commander Mohamed Lamine Sanha in early January 2007, Gomes accused Vieira of involvement in the killing in an interview with Lusa on 8 January. A warrant was issued for Gomes's arrest on 10 January, and when police tried to arrest him later that day he fled and took refuge in the United Nations building in Bissau. A spokesman for Gomes said that it would be unconstitutional to arrest him because he enjoyed immunity as a member of the National People's Assembly. A presidential spokesman accused Gomes of trying to destabilize the country. Gomes left the UN building on 29 January, after the arrest warrant was dropped.

According to Gomes, he was misquoted in the interview that led to the arrest warrant. An investigating judge said that Gomes had not provided any proof for his claim of Vieira's involvement, and on 20 December 2007 it was announced that Gomes had been charged with false testimony and slandering the head of state.

Gomes sought re-election as President of PAIGC at the party's Seventh Ordinary Congress in June–July 2008. Malam Bacai Sanhá, the party's presidential candidate in 2000 and 2005, challenged Gomes for the party leadership, but Gomes was re-elected at the end of the congress on 1–2 July, receiving 578 votes against 355 for Sanhá.

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