Sierra Leone News, Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!
Page added on March 20, 2012
Votes are being counted in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau following an election to choose a new president. (Photo: The count is being monitored by foreign observers)
Nine candidates are running for office, but analysts say only four have a realistic chance.
The election was triggered by the death in January of President Malam Bacai Sanha.
Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by army mutinies and coups over the past 10 years.
No elected president has completed his mandate since multi-party politics was introduced in 1994.
Several senior military figures are accused of involvement in the international drugs trade and the country has become a trafficking point for cocaine from South America to Europe.
Cycle of instability
The BBC’s John James in the capital Bissau says that if the new president is accepted as legitimate by the losing candidates and the powerful army, it would reinforce this fragile country’s attempts to escape a cycle of coups and instability.
The front runner is Carlos Gomes Junior, 60, who has stepped down as prime minister to run as candidate for the governing African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).
The three other candidates expected to do well are Kumba Yala, who was president from 2000 to 2003; MP Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo and former businessman Henrique Rosa.
Our correspondent say it is likely that a second round will be needed to decide the eventual winner.
Observers said it appeared that people had voted freely and that the election had been well organised.
Air, sea and land borders were closed for the day and only election commission-authorised vehicles were allowed on the roads.
The election in the former Portuguese colony was overseen by about 180 foreign observers.
Security has been in the hands of a mixed force of police, National Guard and soldiers, trained by UN security experts.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the US have called for a peaceful, orderly and transparent election.
Malam Bacai Sanha was elected president in 2009 after years of unrest and coups. His predecessor – Joao Bernardo Vieira – was assassinated by mutinous soldiers.
Last December, the US warned its citizens in Guinea-Bissau that there was increased potential for political instability and civil unrest.
Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!
© 2012, Sierra Express Media. All rights reserved.
Search This Site
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
ALSO IN THE NEWSRadisson Blu Mammy Yoko opens its doors to guests
On Tuesday April 15th, the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown opened its doors after a complete refurbishment which focused on stylish and spacious interiors and a welcoming atmosphere. Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko is Sierra Leone’s first 5-star hotel and achieving those sort of standards has taken time and the entire refurbishment of the building […]
MORE STORIESNo Doctors at Connaught Hospital
HAVE YOUR SAYShare you views: What would you like to see more/less of on Sierra Express Media? Send us your ideas and include your name and the area you are writing from.
Our New Website Has a More Efficient LayoutWe invite you to give us your feedback
MORE NEWS HEADLINES