José Mário Vaz
José Mário Vaz
Mário Vaz in 2014
|5th President of Guinea-Bissau|
|Assumed office |
23 June 2014
|Prime Minister||Rui Duarte de Barros (Acting)|
Domingos Simões Pereira
Umaro Sissoco Embaló
|Preceded by||Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Umaro Sissoco Embaló (Elect)|
|Born||10 December 1957|
Calequisse, Portuguese Guinea
|Spouse(s)||Rosa Teixeira Goudiaby|
Life and career
Popularly known by the nickname "Jomav," he was born in 1957 to Mário Vaz and Amelia Gomes in Calequisse, outside the city of Cacheu in northern Guinea-Bissau, and is married and has three children. He graduated as an economist in Lisbon he did an internship at the Office of Economic Studies of the Banco de Portugal in 1982. In 2004, he was elected as Mayor of Bissau, a position he held until 2009, 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.
He 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.
In the first round of the election, held on 13 April 2014, he 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. In the second round, on 18 May 2014, he received 61.9% of the vote. Though Gomes Nabiam initially contested the result, he conceded the election on 22 May 2014.
During the election, Mário Vaz promised to focus on reducing poverty and increasing investment in agriculture, 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. 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.
José Mário Vaz has the peculiarity of being the only president of Guinea-Bissau since independence to be able to finish his five-year term.
On June 27, 2019, four days after the end of his term, he was replaced by the president of the National People's Assembly, Cipriano Cassamá, who until the November elections will remain acting president. On 29 June, ECOWAS decided that Vaz would stay in office as figurehead until after the 2019 elections.
Vaz ran as an independent in the 2019 elections, but he received only 12% of the vote in the first round and failed to advance to the second round.
- "Guinea-Bissau election: Jose Mario Vaz wins run-off". BBC News. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "José Mário Vaz Presidente eleito da Guiné-Bissau toma posse a 23 de junho". Notícias ao Minuto (in Portuguese). 4 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "Candidato guineense José Mário Vaz promete perdão aos criminosos". Deutsche Welle (in Portuguese). 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- "José Mário Vaz venceu as presidenciais da Guiné Bissau". RDP Africa (in Portuguese). 20 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "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.
- Dabo, Alberto (18 May 2014). "Guinea-Bissau votes in post-coup presidential runoff". Reuters. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- "Guinea-Bissau to hold presidential run-off". Al Jazeera English. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- Dabo, Alberto (20 May 2014). "Vaz wins Guinea-Bissau presidential vote, loser rejects result". Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Dabo, Alberto; Felix, Bate (22 May 2014). "Guinea-Bissau presidential candidate Nabiam concedes run-off defeat". Reuters. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "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.
- "Presidente da Guiné-Bissau diz que conclusão de mandato é "marco histórico". África 21 Digital (in Portuguese). 23 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Guiné-Bissau: Parlamento determina "cessação imediata" das funções do Presidente José Mário Vaz". E-Global (in Portuguese). 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
- "Guinea-Bissau election: Former PMs advance to runoff vote". Al Jazeera. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo
| President of Guinea-Bissau