BISSAU Former Guinea Bissau President Kumba Yala, who ruled the West African nation from 2000 to 2003, has died at the age of 61, a statement from the country's military hospital said on Friday.
A veteran of Bissau's turbulent political scene, Yala came to power in 2000 after the country's second multi-party election following a brief civil war in 1999.
He was ousted in a bloodless military coup in September 2003.
"President Kumba Yala is dead. He died around midnight during the night of April 3 of a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest," the statement said.
Yala's death comes 10 days before a legislative and presidential election intended to draw a line under a 2012 military coup. He was not a contender in the election.
(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alison Williams)