Guinea-Bissau Holds Presidential Election

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Citizens of Guinea-Bissau will go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president.

Reports say Guinea Bissau’s nine presidential hopefuls are wrapping up what has been a non-violent campaign season.

The nine candidates include former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior and ex-president Kumba Yala.

The coup-prone country’s election will take place two months after the death of President Malam Bacai Sanha, who died following a prolonged illness.

Violence has marked the country’s history since it fought for, and ultimately won, independence from Portugal in 1974. Prominent rivalries between military and political leaders have sparked repeated coups and attempted coups, and a civil war in the late 1990s.

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Carnival in Bissau.

According to reports, no elected president has ever finished his mandate.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all actors in Guinea-Bissau to ensure a peaceful and transparent election as voters this Sunday.

Mr. Ban appealed to national stakeholders, including the Government, political parties, civil society and the population as a whole, to ensure that the poll takes place in a peaceful, orderly and transparent manner.

He calls on the candidates to follow existing legal procedures to resolve any electoral grievances that might arise and to respect the official results announced by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ban also reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support national efforts towards sustainable peacebuilding, socio-economic development and respect for the rule of law.

UNIOGBIS was set up last year as a successor to the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), which had been in the country since 1999 as part of international efforts to help it recover from civil war in which thousands were killed, wounded or displaced.

On December 2011, the Security Council renewed the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) until February 2013 to consolidate peace and stability and urged the Government and other political actors to work together towards that goal.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.