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Guinea-Bissau politician becomes interim president

March 04, 2009|Associated Press

BISSAU, GUINEA-BISSAU — The head of Guinea-Bissau's parliament took the oath of office as president Tuesday, a day after the man who had ruled the coup-prone West African nation for two decades was gunned down inside his villa.

A hush fell over the parliament chamber as delegates stood, solemnly observing a moment of silence for President Joao Bernardo Vieira and his long-standing rival, Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie, the head of the armed forces. The two were assassinated in back-to-back attacks beginning Sunday night.

On Tuesday, head of parliament Raimundo Pereira became the country's interim president, quelling speculation that the army had been planning a coup and marking a welcome continuation of democratic rule after the two killings shocked the nation.

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