BISSAU (Reuters) - Guinea-Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz rejected on Tuesday a cabinet proposed by his new prime minister, dealing a blow to efforts aimed at turning the page on a crisis that has threatened to destabilize the coup-plagued West African nation.
Carlos Correia was appointed premier on Sept. 8 following weeks of political turmoil triggered by Vaz's dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira and his government over a row between the two rivals within the ruling PAIGC party.
After more than a month of political haggling, Correia submitted a list of ministers to the president on Oct. 2. However Vaz said the cabinet was too large.
"The presidency asks Carlos Correia to reformulate his 34-member government because the state budget will not be able to cover the cost," said a statement released by Vaz's office.
Vaz also complained that the prime minister's cabinet was largely composed of ministers from Pereira's dismissed government, some of whom are facing court cases over alleged corruption.
Pereira was himself named on Correia's list as minister to the presidency in charge of cabinet meetings and government spokesman.
The former Portuguese colony has become a major transit point for cocaine smuggled from South America to Europe amid chronic political instability that has seen the country rocked by nine coups or attempted coups since 1980.
(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)