“Everything is ready for the elections”, UNOGBIS and Guinea-Bissau Electoral Commission said
24 July 2009 - The United Nations Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) and Guinea-Bissau Electoral Commission today informed the international observers for the country's presidential elections that "everything is ready" for the second round to be held Sunday.
Both institutions were briefing about 103 international observers for the country's presidential elections on the preparation of the poll. The UN office is responsible for the coordination of observers from African Union (AU), ECOWAS, UEMOA, CEN-SAD, La Francophonie as well as representatives of Canada, Iceland, Japan, United Kingdom, United States and the NGO RADDHO. Observers from European Mission and CPLP (Lusophone community) are also present in Guinea-Bissau.
The Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, considered the presence of international observers as a "confirmation of the continuing interest and support of the international community to the democratic process in this country".
The chairman of Guinea-Bissau Electoral Commission, Desejado Lima da Costa, stressed "the peaceful and transparent electoral campaign" that ends today at midnight despite the country's political situation. In last March the elected President João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira and the Head of the Army, General Tagme Na Waie, were assassinated whereas in June a presidential candidate and a former minister were also killed. The Guinea-Bissau official added that the Electoral Commission undertook a massive civic education campaign to tackle the first round lower percentage poll.
In a statement issued Thursday and attributable to his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said that he "will be closely watching the upcoming second round of presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau as an important measure of national commitment to democracy and reconciliation."
Ban Ki-moon also urged "the people of Guinea-Bissau to participate peacefully in the voting" and called upon "the presidential candidates to resolve any disputes that might arise through peaceful, legal means and to respect the final result."
Malam Bacai Sanha, candidate of PAIGC ruling party and Mohamed Kumba Yala, from PRS (main opposition) are running for president.