Reference to country's history
In an exemplary manner, the PAIGC, having been founded on September 19, 1956, has accomplished its political and military action plan [Programa Min’mo], consisting of liberating the people of Guinea and Cabo Verde, winning the sovereignty of the two respective states simultaneously, for the purpose of building a free and democratic society and social justice in each nation.
Reference to country's history
The Party consecrated the independence, winning internal and international harmony, respect and admiration as the form for directing the future of the Guinea nation, namely through the creation and institutionalization of state structure.
Reference to country's history
With the Readjusting Movement [Movimento Reajustador] of November 14, the Party reoriented its activities, correcting any errors that had to be overcome in order to build a unified, strong, and democratic society.
Motives for writing constitution
Adopting this Constitution, which follows faithfully the thread of institutional evolution that has always reflected the ideas and choices of our people—a policy reaffirmed by the profound transformation being brought about in our society by legality [lawfulness], by right, and by the enjoyment of fundamental liberties—the National Popular Assembly of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau reveals that everything it articulates is imbued with the humanism that has always inspired us and that is reflected in our rights and liberties as herein guaranteed to the citizens, as an irreversible victory for our people.
Motives for writing constitution
The Popular National Assembly congratulates the PAIGC on paper for being in the vanguard involved in unfolding the conduct of the destiny of the nation and congratulates itself for the courageous and timely decision that the Party of Amilcar Cabral took to support and expand the democratic opening to construct a pluralistic, just, and free society.
The decision of the PAIGC follows in accordance with its historic tradition of acting at every moment as the repository for the deepest aspirations of our people.
Source of constitutional authority
Therefore, acting as a faithful interpreter of the will of the People and exercising its responsibilities as the highest sovereign organ, the National Popular Assembly approves and adopts this Constitution of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau as Fundamental Law, which shall go into force on May 16, 1984.
TITLE I. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
On the nature and basis of the State
Type of government envisioned
Guinea-Bissau shall be a sovereign, democratic, lay, and unitary Republic.
- The national sovereignty of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau lies in the people.
- The people shall exercise political power directly and through the organs of democratically-elected power.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall be a State of constitutionally-instituted democracy, based on national unity and on the effective popular participation in performing, controlling, and directing public activities and directed toward constructing a free and just society.
Right to form political parties
In the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, political parties may be freely created according to the terms of the Constitution and law.
- Political parties shall act for the organization and expression of popular will and political pluralism.
Restrictions on political parties
Political parties must respect national independence and unity, territorial integrity, and pluralistic democracy, with the duty to obey democratic rules and regulations in their organization and operation.
Prohibited political parties
It shall be prohibited to create [political] parties that are regional or local in nature, which encourage racism or tribalism, or which support violent means in pursuing their goals.
- The names of political parties may not be identified with any areas of national territory or invoke the name of any individual, church, religion, cult, or religious doctrine.
Requirements for naturalization
The General Secretaries and/or Presidents of political parties must be native citizens of Guinea-Bissau.
- The Republic of Guinea-Bissau proclaims her eternal gratitude to those fighters who, through their voluntary sacrifice, guaranteed the liberation of the Homeland from foreign domination, by re-winning national dignity and our people’s right to freedom, progress, and peace.
- The Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall consider the following as her honor and duty:
- To achieve by all means a worthy life for the fighters for the freedom of the Homeland, in particular those who, because of their participation in the battle for freedom, became physically handicapped and therefore totally or partially incapable to work; they shall be the first to receive national gratitude;
- To guarantee that orphans of the fighters for liberating the Homeland shall be educated;
Provisions for wealth redistribution
To assist the parents, children, and widows of the fighters for the freedom of the Homeland.
- Those to be considered as fighters for freedom of the Homeland shall be those in the military who, belonging to the PAIGC, participated in the battle for freedom between September 19, 1956, and September 24, 1973, and who were registered in party files at the combat front between the latter date and April 24, 1974, and who, because of their exceptional actions, shall be considered worthy of this title.
Separation of church and state
In the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, there shall be a separation between the State and religious institutions.
- The State shall respect and protect legally-recognized religious sects. The activities of these sects and the exercise of religious worship shall be subject to law.
Based on its unitary structure and to realize the national interest, the State of Guinea-Bissau shall encourage the creation of and support the activities of decentralized territorial collectives [colectividades] which are endowed with autonomy by law.
- The State shall be subordinate to this Constitution and shall be based on democratic legality.
- The validity of laws and other acts of State and of local power shall depend on their conformity to the Constitution.
- The State shall create conditions [conducive] to the development of fundamental materials for organizations of the masses and other social organizations and protect their patrimony.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall exercise sovereignty in the following:
- Over all national territory, which shall comprise:
- the land surface contained within its national territorial limits;
- interior seas [waters] and other territorial waters [mar] specified by law, as well as their respective limits and subsoils;
- aerial space over the geographic areas referred to in the above lines.
Ownership of natural resources
Over all living and non-living natural resources existing in her territory.
Ownership of natural resources
Within its legally-defined exclusive economic zone, the State of Guinea-Bissau shall exercise exclusive authority over the preservation and exploitation of living and nonliving natural resources.
Right to competitive marketplace
The economic and social organization of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall promote its principles of a free market, the subordination of economic power to political power, and the co-existence of public, cooperative, and private property.
Mentions of social class
The goal of the economic and social organization of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall be to continually promote the people’s welfare and to eliminate all forms of submission of human beings to harmful interests which profit individuals, groups, or classes.
In the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, the following forms of property shall be recognized:
- property of the State and the common patrimony of all the people;
- property of cooperatives, organizations based on free consent and applicable in agricultural development, the production of consumer goods, and crafts and other activities specified by law;
Right to own property
private property, considered those goods distinct from those of the State.
- The State may concede that cooperatives and other individuals and groups which are considered legal entities may develop State lands as long as said serves the general interest and increases social wealth.
The State shall manage instruments for issuing money and regulating foreign commerce, and shall maintain control over gold and currency operations through the Central Bank.
- The State shall encourage the investment of foreign capital as long as said is useful in the nation’s economic and social development.
Right to transfer property
The State shall recognize the right to inheritance, according to terms established by law.
The object of public health shall be to promote the physical and mental welfare of the people and to encourage their balanced integration into the social-ecological sphere in which they live. It must orient its efforts toward preventive medicine and toward the progressive socialization of medicine and medical-medicinal sectors.
- Education shall see to the total development of each individual. Said must be strictly linked to productive work, in proportion to the qualifications earned, knowledge, and values that enable each person to become integrated into the community and to contribute to his continual progress.
- The State shall consider the elimination of illiteracy as its fundamental task.
Right to culture, Human dignity
It shall be the State’s fundamental imperative to create and to encourage conditions favorable to preserving cultural identity, as a support for national conscience and dignity, and as a factor to stimulate the harmonious development of society. The State shall preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the people, whose valuation must serve progress and safeguard of human dignity.
Right to culture
Conditions shall be created so that all citizens shall have access to culture and shall be given incentive to participate actively in the creation and spread of culture.
- It shall be incumbent upon the State to encourage and promote sports and physical culture and their spread.
- The Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall establish and develop relations with other nations on the basis of international right and on the principles of national independence, equality among states, non-interference into internal affairs, and the realization of mutual benefits, peaceful coexistence, and non-alignment.
Right to self determination
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall defend the right of the people to self- determination and independence and support the fight of the people against colonialism, imperialism, racism, and all other forms of oppression and exploitation; recognize peaceful solutions to international conflicts; and participate in efforts to assure peace and justice in relationships among states and the establishment of a new international economic order.
- Without prejudicing victories achieved through the fight for national liberation, the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall participate in efforts of the African states, either regionally or on a continental basis, toward concrete realization of the principle of African unity.
It shall be the fundamental duty of the State to safeguard the victories of the people in all ways, and, in particular, the constitutionally-instituted democratic order. The defense of the Nation must be organized on the basis of the active participation and unified will of the people.
- It shall be incumbent on the People’s Revolutionary Military Forces (FARP), as instrumental of national liberation in the service of the people and the primary institution for defending the Nation, to defend territorial independence, sovereignty, and integrity, and to cooperate strictly with specific national services in order to guarantee and maintain internal security and public order.
- It shall be the civic duty and honor of members of the FARP to participate actively in the work of National Reconstruction.
- The FARP shall obey organs of sovereign jurisdiction, according to terms of this Constitution and the law.
- The FARP shall be nonpartison; its active parts may not exercise any political activity.
- Functions of security forces shall be to defend democratic lawfulness [legalidade] and to guarantee internal security and the rights of citizens in a nonpartison way; none of these forces or active parts may exercise any kind of political activity.
- Political methods shall be as provided for by law and must not be utilized except as strictly necessitated.
- The prevention of crimes, including crimes against State security, shall be in accordance with rules and regulations provided for by law and in respect for citizens’ rights, freedoms, and guarantees.
- Members of Defense and Security Forces and current Deputies to the National Popular Assembly shall continue to serve in their functions through the next legislative elections.
- The national symbols of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall be the Flag, the Arms, and the Hymn.
The National Flag of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall comprise three rectangular bands, of red, yellow, and green. The bands shall be identical in shape and size, with the red one on the left side, vertically, and the yellow and green bands in horizontal positions, respectively, in the upper right and lower right side. The red band shall be marked with a five-pointed star.
The arms of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall consist of two palm leaves arranged in a circle, united on a base upon which a yellow shell is placed, and joined by a ribbon on which is engraved, “UNITY BATTLE PROGRESS”.
In the central upper part there shall be a black five-pointed star.
The national hymn shall be “This is Our Beloved Fatherland.”
The capital of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau shall be Bissau.
TITLE II. Fundamental Rights, Freedoms, Guarantees and Duties
Equality regardless of creed or belief, Equality regardless of religion, Equality regardless of race, Equality regardless of social status, General guarantee of equality, Equality regardless of gender
All citizens shall be equal before the law, shall have the same rights, and shall be subject to the same duties, without distinction regarding race, sex, social, intellectual or cultural level, religious belief, or philosophical conviction.
Men and women shall be equal before the law in all areas of political, economic, social, and cultural life.
- The State shall recognize the creation of families and guarantee their protection.
Rights of children
Children shall be equal before the law, independently of the civil state of their progenitors.
- Every national citizen, whether he lives in the country or is abroad, shall have the same rights and be subject to the same duties as other citizens, with the exception of any rights or duties which are considered incompatible with being absent from the country.
- Citizens that live in a foreign country shall enjoy the care and protection of the State.
Restrictions on rights of groups
- On the basis of reciprocity, foreigners, or those who for any reason either live in Guinea-Bissau or are found there, shall enjoy the same rights and be subject to the same duties as citizens of Guinea-Bissau, except in areas concerning the political rights, the exercise of public functions [office, duties], or other rights and duties expressly reserved by law for national citizens.
The exercise of public functions [office, duties] shall be allowed foreigners as long as they have a predominately technical nature, except when called for by an international accord or agreement.
The rights, freedoms, guarantees, and duties consecrated by this Constitution shall not negate any others foreseen by other laws of the Republic.
- The exercise of fundamental rights, liberties, and guarantees may only be suspended or limited in the case of martial law or of a state of emergency that is declared according to terms of law.
- Laws of a general or abstract nature which restrict rights, liberties, or guarantees must be limited to those necessary to safeguard other constitutionally-protected rights or interests; they may neither be retroactive nor neither diminish or essentially damage rights.
Every citizen shall have the right to appeal to jurisdictional organs against acts that violate their rights which are recognized by the Constitution and by law; justice may not be denied for reasons of insufficient financial means.
None of the rights and liberties guaranteed to citizens may be used against the Nation’s independence, territorial integrity, national unity, institutions of the Republic, or principles and goals consecrated by this Constitution.
Prohibition of cruel treatment
Right to life
Every person shall have the right to life and to physical and mental wellbeing.
- No person may be submitted to penalties involving cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
Prohibition of torture
No one may be submitted to torture as a punishment or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
Protection from unjustified restraint
No one may be detained by security measures that deprive him of his liberty for an unlimited or undefined period of time, except when same is justified by a danger based on a serious physical anomaly.
- The penal system shall be regulated by law.
Protection from unjustified restraint, Principle of no punishment without law, Inalienable rights
Every person shall enjoy inviolability of his person and may not be arrested or suffer any kind of sanction except for those penalties in forms and warranties foreseen by law.
Protection from ex post facto laws
No law may be retroactive, unless it would benefit the accused person.
- The penal system shall be regulated by law.
In no case may a citizen of the nation be extradited or expelled from the country.
Right to privacy
The personal identity, civil status, citizenship, good name and reputation, image, and respect for private and family intimate information shall be recognized for everyone.
Right to counsel, Presumption of innocence in trials
- It shall be the honor and supreme duty of each citizen to participate in defending the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nation.
Duty to serve in the military
Each citizen shall have the duty to render military service, according to law.
- Treason against the native land shall be a crime calling for the most severe punishment.
- Security measures that deprive liberty for an undefined or unlimited period of time shall not be allowed, except for those justified by danger caused by a serious physical anomaly.
- Every accused person shall have the right to his defense, being assured all necessary legal guaranteed and considered innocent until declared guilty by a court sentence.
Regulation of evidence collection
Any evidence or confession [provas] obtained by torture, coercion, or physical or mental harm shall be null and void.
Duty to work
Work shall be the right and duty of each citizen.
Right to work
The State shall gradually create conditions for the full employment of citizens able to work.
- The State shall recognize and guarantee to each citizen the right to be trained in his profession or generally for work, in accordance with the needs and fundamental imperatives of the National Reconstruction.
Right to just remuneration
All workers shall have the right to remuneration for their work, depending on the quantity, quality, and the nature of their work, observing the principle of equal pay for equal work, so as to guarantee a dignified living.
Right to join trade unions
The freedom of workers to organize unions [sindical] in order to promote unity, to defend their rights, and to protect their interests shall be recognized.
- In exercising freedom to organize unions, workers shall be guaranteed the following, without any discrimination:
- Freedom to create, to organize, and to draw up the internal rules and regulations for associations;
- The right to exercise syndicate activities in businesses, according to terms of law.
- Syndicate associations [unions] shall be independent of the State, of employers, of religious organizations, or parties, and other political associations.
- The law shall assure that representatives elected by the workers shall be protected, within the limits of the legitimate exercise of their duties.
Right to safe work environment
Workers shall have the right to protection, safety, and hygiene at work.
- Workers may only be fired according to terms provided for by law.
State support for the elderly, State support for the disabled
The State shall gradually create a system able to guarantee each worker social security in his old age and in case of illness or becoming incapacitated from working.
Right to strike
The right of workers to strike law shall be recognized according to terms of law, which shall define the scope of professional interests which may be defended by strikes.
- Lock-outs shall be prohibited.
Inalienable rights, Right to privacy
The State shall recognize each citizen’s right to inviolability of his home, correspondence, and other means of private communication, except in cases expressly provided for by law in matters involving criminal process.
Right to health care
Every citizen shall have the right to protection of his health and the duty to promote and defend it.
Rights of children, State support for children
Children, youth, and mothers shall have the right to the protection of society and of the State.
- Every citizen shall have the right to education and the duty to be educated.
Access to higher education, Free education
The State shall gradually promote the gratuitous nature of education and the equal possibility of all citizens to have access to every level of education.
Reference to art, Reference to science
One shall be free to pursue intellectual, artistic, and scientific creative activities, as long as same are not contrary to the encouragement of social progress. The rights of authors shall be protected by law.
- Every citizen shall have the right and duty to participate in the nation’s political, economic, and cultural life, according to law.
Right of petition
Any citizen may present suggestions, protests, claims, and petitions to sovereign organs and to any other authorities according to terms and forms specified by law.
Freedom of assembly, Freedom of religion, Freedom of association, Freedom of expression, Freedom of opinion/thought/conscience
Freedom of expression of thought, of meeting, of association, and of demonstration, as well as freedom of choice of religion, shall be guaranteed according to conditions provided for by law.
Freedom of press
- In the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, freedom of press shall be guaranteed according to law.
Media commission, Television, Radio
The State shall guarantee public press, radio and television services independent of economic or political interests.
A National Council of Social Communications shall be created to guarantee that mentioned in the preceding line and to assure the opportunity for expressing and confronting different streams of opinion.
The authority and composition of the National Council of Social Communications shall be established by law.
According to the development of the country, the State shall progressively create conditions necessary to realize full rights of the economic and/or social nature recognized by this title.
TITLE V. FINAL AND PROVISIONAL PROVISIONS
Active members of defense and security forces and current Deputies of the National Popular Assembly shall continue in office until the next legislative elections are held.