Background: In 1994, 20 years after independence from Portugal, the country's first multiparty legislative and presidential elections were held. An army uprising that triggered a bloody civil war in 1998, created hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. The president was ousted by a military junta in May 1999. An interim government turned over power in February 2000 when opposition leader Koumba YALLA took office following two rounds of transparent presidential elections. Guinea-Bissau's transition back to democracy will be complicated by a crippled economy devastated by civil war and the military's predilection for governmental meddling.
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