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.
Malam Bacai Sanha
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’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.
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.
A Guinea Bissau presidential candidate on Monday withdrew his bid for the elections and called for a boycott of the March 18 vote, accusing the ruling party of preparing “large-scale fraud”. “I decided to withdraw from the race because the ruling party is preparing large-scale fraud” with “the complicity of the National Election Commission”, said Braima Alfa Djalo, the candidate of the National African Congress. He called for a boycott of the vote, saying that “all the administrative machine has been mobilised to ensure the victory of Carlos Gomes Junior”, the candidate of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde.Full Article: G Bissau presidential candidate pulls out | News24.
Guinea Bissau President Malam Bacai Sanha died on Monday in a Paris hospital where he was undergoing treatment, according to a statement from his office read over local radio. Sanha had been in poor health since coming to power in 2009 and left Bissau in late November for treatment abroad, raising worries about a possible military takeover in a West African state that has suffered repeated coups.Full Article: Guinea Bissau president dies in France | Reuters.
Guinea-Bissau’s President Malam Bacai Sanha died in a hospital in Paris of diabetes complications on Monday as a new presidential election was planned in three months, according to a statement released by Guinea-Bissau’s presidency. The statement said that the 64-year-old president, who has been hospitalized by the French Val de Grace hospital since August 31 last year, died on Monday morning.Full Article: Guinea-Bissau president dies，new election planned|Asia-Pacific|chinadaily.com.cn.