Two former prime ministers dispute the Presidency of Guinea-Bissau in the second round

Propaganda electoral a favor de Umaro Sissoko Embalo en Guinea-Bissau.

Electoral propaganda in favor of Umaro Sissoko Embalo in Guinea-Bissau. – REUTERS / CHRISTOPHE VAN DER PERRE – Archive

The current president, defeated in the first round, supports Cissoko Embalo


The population of Guinea-Bissau has started going to the polls this Sunday for the second round of the presidential elections, a vote in which the current president, José Mario Vaz, who suffered a hard defeat in the first round, held, will not participate in November.

Two former prime ministers dispute the Presidency of Guinea-Bissau in the second round
Two former prime ministers dispute the Presidency of Guinea-Bissau in the second round

The ballots will include the names of former Prime Ministers Domingos Simoes Pereira, who won in the first round with 40 percent of the votes, and Umaro Cissoko Embalo, who obtained 28 percent of the support, according to official published data by the electoral commission.

Pereira, candidate of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGCV), has pledged in recent days to be a “serious” president and committed to the aspirations of the people, while being “willing” to assume the Charge after the vote.

“With me in the Presidency we can assure you that there will be no fight that we will not be able to win,” he said at his closing ceremony on Friday in the capital, Bissau, according to the Guinean news agency ANG.

“After all that I have verified in this electoral campaign I am sure that the Guinean people are determined to transform their destiny into something positive and that is why I will assume that the time has come for Guinea-Bissau,” said Simoes Pereira, who has accused Cissoko Embalo of being a “content void” candidate.

For his part, Cissoko Embalo – who has received the support of several candidates eliminated in the first round, including Vaz – has also been confident of his victory and has accused his rival of fostering differences within the population.

The candidate supported by the Movement for Democratic Alternation (MADEM-G15) – the opposition formation with more seats in the Guinean Parliament – has presented itself during the campaign as a unit politician thanks to the support obtained from the rest of the candidates and An agenda of social reform.

The second round of the presidential elections will take place after a new political crisis in the African country and will lead to the first peaceful transition of power, given that Vaz will become the first president since independence in 1974 to complete his term after being democratically elected.

The president prevailed in the 2014 elections as a candidate of PAIGCV, who left a year later in the middle of a crisis with his then prime minister, Simoes Pereira.

The political stalemate caused the mediation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reach an agreement that would stabilize the situation before the elections, although a new crisis broke out weeks before the first round.

On this occasion, Vaz ceased the Prime Minister, Aristides Gomes, and appointed a successor rejected by the Government and ECOWAS itself, which held an emergency summit to address the situation and demand the president to respect the agreement, so finally He backed down.

This succession of crisis and instability – including the role of the Army, which has been behind a score of coups since independence, although in the last crisis it was not positioned – has had an impact on the economic situation of the population, also affected by the volatility of cashew prices, the main source of income for more than two thirds of the country's families.

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