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Guinea-Bissau Vote Restores Parliament

West-Africa

Guinea-Bissau Vote Restores Parliament

A four year political crisis is days away from ending in the West Africa’s Guinea-Bissau state that has also been known for notorious drug trafficking.

Reports indicate that 61,000 registered voters voted Sunday for a one-round proportional legislative ballot. They elected their 102 deputies.

The country has not been having a functioning National Assembly.

In August 2015 when President Jose Mario Vaz, elected a year earlier, sacked his prime minister, Domingos Simoes Pereira who was head of the PAIGC(the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde), after a falling out.

Vaz has appointed a series of prime ministers, but none garnered sufficient support to achieve a parliamentary majority.

Finally in April 2018, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) brokered an agreement leading to the designation of a consensus prime minister, Aristide Gomes, and the resumption of work by the 102-seat parliament.

Guinea Bissau’s President President Jose Mario Vaz appointed a series of prime ministers, but none has garnered sufficient support to achieve a parliamentary majority

In the Sunday poll, observers said the operation was generally calm. However, about 3% of voters didn’t vote, their names did not appear on any list.

Overall the voting went well, ECOWAS observers said,  “We found calm and discipline on the part of voters,” says Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, chairman of the observation committee. We also noticed a strong mobilization in the polling stations that we visited. “

The National Electoral Commission (CNE) estimates that 2.7% of voters did not vote because of irregularities in the file and failures of the computer tool used in the census.

These voters believe that the CNE has stolen their civil rights.

Prime Minister Aristides Gomes welcomed the vote saying; “I am proud of all those who participated in this process. I am proud of the negotiating capacity that has been demonstrated. I am proud of all those who have been able to find solutions to the problems that were enormous when we decided to restore confidence in our country, and when we decided to lead everyone to negotiation in order to be able to go to the elections. “

Meanwhile the government still battles drug syndicates.

The country’s instability has attracted drug traffickers, with senior government and military officials implicated in the trade.

Authorities Sunday seized nearly 800 kilograms (1,700 pounds) of cocaine, the biggest drugs haul in more than a decade.

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