Guinea-Bissau: Security Council Urges Political Parties to Engage in Dialogue Ahead of Run-Off Election |

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.

Guinea-Bissau: Voters head to polls in Guinea-Bissau | AP

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.