President Malam Bacai Sanha, who was elected in this tiny, coup-prone nation on Africa's western coast about two years ago after the previous leader was assassinated, died Monday in Paris after a lengthy hospitalization.
No immediate cause was given but the 64-year-old president was known to have diabetes, and had undergone medical treatment in both France and neighboring Senegal during his time in office. National radio announced his death Monday afternoon.
An official at Guinea-Bissau's embassy in Paris, Luis Mendes, said Sanha died Monday morning at the Val de Grace hospital after being hospitalized in France "for about a month" with an unspecified ailment, Mendes said.
The head of the National Assembly, Raimundo Pereira, is again expected to take over until new elections can be organized. He already has served as interim head of state after the 2009 assassination of former President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira.
Officials declared seven days of mourning. They did not say when elections might be held.
Since independence from Portugal in 1974, the nation has been wracked by coups and has become one of the main transit points for drug traffickers ferrying cocaine to Europe. Just two weeks ago, the army said a top military official had attempted unsuccessfully to seize power while Sanha was ill.