Long lines formed outside polling stations in Guinea-Bissau on Sunday for a presidential runoff vote intended to restore constitutional order in a country known for coups and unrest. The vote pits Jose Mario Vaz, whose party won a parliamentary majority in April’s first round, against Nuno Gomes Nabiam, who is known for having close ties to military leaders. More than 80 percent of eligible voters took part in the first round, a statistic observers say indicates the country is eager to move past its instability and begin rebuilding the economy with the help of international donors. The large crowds on Sunday at polling stations in the capital, Bissau, suggested a similarly healthy turnout for the second round.Full Article: Guinea-Bissau holds presidential runoff vote | Mail Online.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
Jose Mario Vaz, Guinea-Bissau’s former finance minister, will face Nuno Gomes Nabiam, a candidate seen closest to the army, in a May 18 presidential run-off due to complete the country’s return to civilian rule. The presidential and parliamentary vote is meant to offer the nation a fresh start after decades of instability since independence from Portugal. Its last vote in 2012 was abandoned after the military seized power between rounds of voting. “Guinea-Bissau citizens have given a strong signal to the political class in coming out in huge numbers to exercise their civic rights,” Augusto Mendes head of the election commission said on Wednesday, referring to a turnout of over 80 percent. Vaz, candidate of the dominant party African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), secured 40.99 percent of the votes in the first round, according to election commission figures.Full Article: Guinea-Bissau run-off vote pits ex-finance minister Vaz against Nabiam | Reuters.
Observers from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Monday said Guinea-Bissau’s weekend election was free and fair, and called on international donors to restart cooperation suspended in the wake of a 2012 coup. Bissau-Guineans flocked to the polls in large numbers on Sunday to vote in long-delayed legislative and presidential polls meant to bring stability to the former Portuguese colony after years of putsches and political infighting. No elected president has completed a five-year term in Guinea-Bissau, which has become a major transit point for smugglers ferrying Latin American cocaine to Europe. “The election was conducted according to international standards and the election was peaceful, free, fair and transparent,” the ECOWAS observer mission said in a statement.Full Article: Observers give Guinea-Bissau vote clean bill of health - chicagotribune.com.
Vote counting began in Guinea-Bissau after a heavy turnout in Sunday’s legislative and presidential elections meant to bring stability to the West African state after years of coups and political infighting. No major incidents were reported by the close of polls and monitors said they expected a record turnout. The electoral commission said turnout had reached 60 percent by 1430 GMT (10.30 a.m. EDT) but did not give more detailed numbers. At sunset, officials in Pefine, a neighborhood in the crumbling capital Bissau, sat under a mango tree tallying ballots under the watchful eyes of residents and election observers. Results are due by Friday. If no candidate wins an outright majority, a second round will be held between the top two.Full Article: Guinea-Bissau counts votes after big turnout in crucial poll | Reuters.
Guinea Bissau holds presidential and legislative elections on April 13 in a bid to help restore democracy two years after a coup that thwarted a previous vote and triggered an economic slide in the former Portuguese colony. As many as 775,500 voters out of a population of 1.6 million will cast ballots in an election that was delayed twice, according to the United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea Bissau. There are 13 presidential candidates, while 15 parties are vying for 102 seats in parliament. Former Finance Minister Jose Mario Vaz is considered the frontrunner in the presidential vote, according to Bjorn van Wees, Africa analyst at the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit. Vaz is the candidate for Partido Africano da Independencia da Guine e Cabo Verde, or PAIGC, which fought a guerrilla war against the Portuguese and took power at independence in 1974.Full Article: Guinea Bissau Holds First Vote Since Coup in Bid to Lift Economy - Bloomberg.
The United Nations panel dealing with peacebuilding efforts in Guinea-Bissau today welcomed the successful preparations for the country’s upcoming legislative and presidential elections and called on all stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring that the polls are free and fair. The elections, which have been postponed several times, most recently from 16 March to 13 April, is seen as a crucial step on the path to restoring constitutional order in the West African nation, which is recovering from an April 2012 coup. “With the voter registration successfully completed, political campaign[ing] in full swing, and financial requirements timely made available by various international partners, it is expected that general elections will be held on 13 April,” said a statement issued by the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). “No further delay is justifiable.”Full Article: UN panel calls for clean polls in Guinea Bissau Voting - SpyGhana.com.
Guinea-Bissau said today it was postponing national elections which had been due to take place in nine days until March next year. “The presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on March 16, 2014,” the transitional regime said in a presidential decree, announcing that it would “immediately cancel the elections previously set for November 24, 2013”. The decree said the postponement was agreed by the transitional government, political parties and the electoral commission, but did not specify a reason for the decision. The polls were originally pencilled in for May but in January transitional president Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo said such a short time frame was “technically” impossible.Full Article: Guinea-Bissau elections postponed until next year | Business Standard.
A senior United Nations envoy says major reforms are necessary in Guinea-Bissau for elections due in November to be seen as free and fair. Among the reforms are steps toward providing justice for recent high-profile political killings. Guinea-Bissau has suffered from chronic instability since obtaining independence from Portugal in 1974. Its most recent coup occurred last year, when the army took control of the country in the middle of an election cycle. Transitional authorities announced in June that presidential and legislative elections would be held on November 24. This week, the country received representatives from a host of international organizations, including the African Union, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS and the European Union. El-Ghassim Wane, the director of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, says the international community is committed to seeing a successful vote.Full Article: Cautious International Support for Guinea-Bissau Ahead of Elections.
West African leaders decided to send troops to coup-hit Mali and Guinea-Bissau to support their return to civilian rule and demanded coup leaders “return to barracks” in both countries. At an extraordinary summit in Ivory Coast, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also said the two countries must prepare for legislative and presidential elections within a year. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, current head of ECOWAS, pledged a firm response to the instability “to prevent our sub-region from giving into terrorism and transnational criminality”. “The safety of Europe and of the United States now starts in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea,” Ouattara said.Full Article: AFP: West African bloc to send troops to Mali, G.Bissau.
Guinea-Bissau’s junta has named a failed presidential candidate to govern the country for two years. The United Nations has condemned the move in West Africa’s narcotics hub. The naming of Manuel Serifo Nhamajo, the former speaker of parliament, to head an interim government was made jointly late Thursday by the military – whose coup last week preempted a presidential election runoff – and Guinea-Bissau’s main opposition, the Party for Social Renewal. Nhamajo’s nomination was immediately rejected by the ousted governing party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Its secretary general, Luis Olivares, described the appointment as “unconstitutional.”Full Article: International censure as Guinea-Bissau junta names president | News | DW.DE | 20.04.2012.
Guinea-Bissau’s military junta said on Wednesday it would take two years to restore democratic rule in the West African state through elections that will be set by a soon-to-be-named caretaker government. The announcement came after broad international condemnation of the shadowy “Military Command” which seized power last week and cut short a presidential poll by detaining its front-runner, former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior. The former Portuguese colony has seen several coups and army revolts since independence in 1974. The latest coup was a blow to efforts by Western donors to reduce military meddling in the country’s politics and counter the influence of drug-trafficking cartels using Guinea-Bissau as a transshipment point.Full Article: Bissau junta sets two-year roadmap to elections - chicagotribune.com.
Five candidates in Guinea Bissau’s aborted presidential election united to condemn last week’s coup, as West African delegates arrived for overnight talks with military and political figures. The April 12 military coup tipped the restive impoverished west African country into fresh chaos and interrupted a second-round presidential vote on April 29. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Monday that a move by the coup leaders to declare a transitional government would only worsen the crisis in the African nation. Ban will “intensify cooperation” with international governments and bodies to deal with the situation following last Thursday’s coup, said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey. For its part the junta insisted that it was in control of the situation in the west African nation and urged the population not to panic.Full Article: IC Publications | African Business | New African | New African Woman | African Banker | The Middle East | African Business (en français) | New African (en français) | New African Woman (en français) | African Banker (en français).
A grimly familiar sequence of gunfire in the capital, military communiqués on the radio and the arrest of government officials is repeating itself in the small coastal state of Guinea-Bissau — apparently the latest West African nation to succumb to a coup d’état. A second round of voting in presidential elections was scheduled to take place later this month, but on Friday, the heavy favorite, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr., was in army custody along with other senior officials. The military, which has dominated politics in the country ever since it fought its way to independence from Portugal in 1974, announced it did not intend to stay in power and called a meeting of political parties late Friday. But military officials did not say what their plans were for the nation of 1.6 million people, which is heavily dependent on aid and considered a major transit hub for Latin American drugs. Once again, in a country long accustomed to coups, the trigger was apparently the army’s perception that its prerogatives were threatened, diplomats said.Full Article: Guinea-Bissau Coup Removes Presidential Front-Runner - NYTimes.com.
In Guinea-Bissau, soldiers reportedly sealed off the parts of the capital on Thursday and ringed the home of the prime minister, lobbing grenades. The unrest comes weeks before an election once seen as a chance for one of the most troubled states in West Africa to overcome its tumultuous past. “I am prevented from leaving,” an unnamed diplomat told the Associated Press on Thursday from his office in Bissau. “The downtown area has been sealed off by the military … I can also tell you that all Guinea-Bissau radio has been taken off the air since 8 p.m. local time and the whereabouts of the prime minister and interim president are unknown.” The impoverished country has a history pocked with military coups and revolts since it won its independence from Portugal. Its first president was overthrown by his army chief, who in turn was ousted after he dismissed his own army chief, starting a civil war. Two more coups followed. Guinea-Bissau has been readying for a runoff election between the prime minister and a former president later this month, trying to replace its late leader Malam Bacai Sanha.Full Article: Military unrest mars hopes for Guinea-Bissau election - latimes.com.
Guinea-Bissau’s electoral commission announced Friday the start of election campaigning for April 22 run-off polls had been postponed to examine an appeal by the opposition. “The postponement is linked to the examination of appeals” filed by five opposition candidates who want the March 18 first round of voting annuled, the elections commission said in a statement. An official from the Supreme Court said that until it makes its ruling, “the whole electoral process remains suspended.”Full Article: AFP: G.Bissau postpones poll campaign ahead of run-off.
Guinea-Bissau: Security Council Urges Political Parties to Engage in Dialogue Ahead of Run-Off Election | allAfrica.com
The Security Council today urged political parties in Guinea-Bissau to engage in dialogue ahead of the upcoming run-off elections next month to ensure a peaceful conclusion to the electoral process that started in January, and to be able to maintain unity and stability in the country. “The members of the Security Council called upon all political leaders and their supporters to exercise restraint and to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process,” said Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom, which holds the Council’s presidency this month, in a press statement. The West African nation is undergoing a political transition as a result of the death of President Malam Bacai Sanhá in January, which prompted early elections – the first round of which were held on 18 March. A run-off is now scheduled for 22 April between former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior and ex-president Kumba Yala.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Guinea Bissau: Security Council Urges Political Parties to Engage in Dialogue.
Guinea Bissau’s election commission on Wednesday rejected opposition complaints of fraud during a March 18 first-round presidential vote in the West African state, and set a decisive run-off for April 22. The election to replace Malam Bacai Sanha, who died in a Paris hospital in January after a long illness, was meant to usher in stability to the coup-prone country, which has become a transhipment point for Latin American cocaine bound for Europe. Former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who fell just short of an outright majority in the first round, is meant to face rival Kumba Yala in the run-off, but Yala has said he will boycott the vote in protest over alleged first-round rigging. Yala and four other opposition leaders filed a formal complaint with the national election commission last week, saying that Gomes Junior orchestrated “massive fraud” that included widespread double-voting.Full Article: Bissau electoral body throws out fraud complaints | Reuters.
An election official in Guinea-Bissau says a presidential runoff will be held next month. Electoral commission president Desejado Lima da Costa said Wednesday the vote will be held April 22. Former prime minister Carlos Gomes Jr. took nearly 49 percent of the first vote. Challenger Kumba Yala came second with about 23 percent. Yala has previously said he won’t participate in the runoff because he believes the poll earlier this month was fraudulent. It’s not known if he will participate in the April runoff.
The United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) said it’s pleased with the peaceful conduct of Sunday’s presidential election in the West African nation. Citizens voted to elect a new president, who will succeed Malam Bacai Sanha who died in January. UNIOGBIS spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said the electoral commission is constitutionally mandated to announce the final outcome of the vote within 10 days of the election. “The election was held in a very peaceful manner,” said Monteiro. “In the morning, participation was relatively weak but, all day long, leaders of the electoral body encouraged the people to go and vote, and it seems that people listened and went to vote because the participation finally increased.” Several international organizations, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, called Bissau Guineans to peacefully vote in Sunday’s presidential election.Full Article: UN Mission Pleased With Peaceful Election in Guinea Bissau | Africa | English.
For the second time in two years, voters in Guinea-Bissau are heading to the polls to choose a president for their small, coup-prone nation. In 2009, the country held an emergency election following the assassination of longtime President Joao Bernardo Vieira. Newly elected leader Malam Bacai spent the better part of his term shuttling between hospitals to treat a mysterious illness. He died in January, prompting the current election.