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.”
In February, the UN Security Council reiterated that it is willing to use targeted sanctions against civilian and military individuals who undermine efforts to restore the constitutional order, while voicing concern at the continuing delays in the elections, which it said had negative impacts on the country’s social and economic well-being, as well as on the already fragile security, humanitarian and human rights situation there.
The PBC’s Guinea-Bissau Configuration noted today that funding and preparations for the polls are “well on track.” At the same time, it expressed its concern about recent episodes of political violence and condemned any attempt to employ fear and intimidation as political tools.