Cipriano Cassamá

Cipriano Cassamá (born 1959) is a politician in Guinea-Bissau and a member of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). He was Minister of the Interior from August 2008[1] to January 2009. He has been President of the National People’s Assembly since June 2014.

Cipriano Cassamá
President of the National People’s Assembly
Assumed office
16 June 2014
Preceded byIbraima Sori Djaló
Personal details
Born1959 (age 60–61)
Bula, Portuguese Guinea, now (Guinea-Bissau)

Life and careerEdit

Cassamá was President Nino Vieira's spokesman at the time of the 1998–1999 civil war.[2][3] After Prime Minister Francisco Fadul compared Vieira to Antonio de Oliveira Salazar during a visit to Portugal on April 19, 1999, Cassamá criticized Fadul for the use of "purposely offensive, aggressive language".[2] Following the civil war, in which Vieira was ousted, Cassamá was arrested along with Conduto de Pina in early February 2000 for allegedly inciting war and supporting foreign occupation.[4] He was later charged with embezzlement along with a number of others who had served under Vieira, but was acquitted by the Regional Court in Bissau in early June 2003.[5] He subsequently served as President of the PAIGC Parliamentary Group. Although PAIGC repudiated Vieira, Cassamá was among those who welcomed Vieira back to Bissau when he returned from exile on April 7, 2005.[6]

On March 17, 2008, Cassamá presented his candidacy to stand for the post of President of PAIGC at the next party congress, saying that he could renew and reunite the party.[7] He was considered a dissident within the party. At PAIGC's Seventh Ordinary Congress, which was held in Gabú,[8] Carlos Gomes Júnior was re-elected as PAIGC President on July 1–2, 2008;[9] Cassamá was a candidate, but received only 61 votes, placing fourth.[10]

Cassamá was appointed as Minister of the Interior on August 9, 2008, in the government of Prime Minister Carlos Correia.[1][11][12] His appointment as Interior Minister was considered particularly important because of the ministry's responsibility for handling the November 2008 parliamentary election.[1] In that election, PAIGC won a majority of 67 out of 100 seats in the National People's Assembly, and Cassamá was elected to a seat as a PAIGC candidate in the 10th constituency, Safim e Prabis.[13]

Following an alleged attack by "elements of the presidential guard" against the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai, on January 4, 2009, Tagme Na Wai accused Cassamá of ordering the attack. A presidential guard spokesman said that a rifle had accidentally gone off and that no assassination attempt had occurred.[14] Cassamá was not included in the PAIGC government that was appointed on January 7, 2009; Lúcio Soares was appointed to replace him as Interior Minister.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Guine-Bissau: Novo PM divulga lista completa do seu Governo" Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, Lusa, August 9, 2008 (in Portuguese).
  2. ^ a b "Guinea-Bissau: Fadul in Italy", IRIN, April 23, 2008.
  3. ^ "Bissau official says premier-designate lied about shelling", Portuguese TV (, February 2, 1999.
  4. ^ "Two associates of ousted Guinea Bissau president arrested", RTP Internacional TV, Lisbon (, February 2, 2000.
  5. ^ "Guinea-Bissau: Court acquits eight ex-governors, others charged with fraud", RDP Africa web site (, June 5, 2003.
  6. ^ "Nino Vieira returns from exile to a hero's welcome", IRIN, April 7, 2005.
  7. ^ "Guiné-Bissau: Cipriano Cassamá, antigo líder parlamentar do PAIGC, apresenta candidatura à liderança do partido", Inforpress, March 17, 2008 (in Portuguese).
  8. ^ "7ème congrès du PAIGC à 200 km à l’est de Bissau"[permanent dead link], African Press Agency, June 26, 2008 (in French).
  9. ^ "L’ancien Premier ministre bissau guinéen Carlos Gomis, réélu président du PAIGC"[permanent dead link], African Press Agency, July 2, 2008 (in French).
  10. ^ "PAIGC/Congresso: Candidatura de Malam Bacai Sanhá ainda não reconheceu resultados e admite irregularidades na contagem dos votos" Archived 2018-06-17 at the Wayback Machine, Lusa, July 2, 2008 (in Portuguese).
  11. ^ "Guinea-Bissau gets 21 new cabinet ministers" Archived 2008-12-01 at, African Press Agency, August 10, 2008.
  12. ^ "Novo primeiro-ministro bissau-guineense forma Governo", Panapress, August 9, 2008 (in Portuguese).
  13. ^ Litos Sanca, "RESULTADOS DEFINITIVOS E LISTA NOMINAL DOS DEPUTADOS DAS ELEIÇÕES LEGISLATIVAS DE 2008", Agência Bissau, November 27, 2008 (in Portuguese).
  14. ^ "Guinea-Bissau army chief: interior minister behind shooting incident", Xinhua, January 8, 2009.
  15. ^ "Novo governo na Guiné-Bissau", Panapress, January 8, 2009 (in Portuguese).
Political offices
Preceded by
Ibraima Sori Djaló
President of the National People’s Assembly