International Community and Guinea-Bissau sign project to support 2018 elections – Country to commit $1 million

The signing ceremony of the Project Document “Support Electoral Cycle (2017-2019)”, developed in close partnership with the European Union, took place today at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Bissau, in the presence of the Special Representative of the UN secretary General (SRSG) Modibo Touré and representatives of the international community.

9 Mar 2018

International Community and Guinea-Bissau sign project to support 2018 elections – Country to commit $1 million

The event has marked the end of the visit of the UNDP Electoral Task Force mission in Bissau aiming to fine-tune technical, material and financial preparations of the upcoming elections and meet with national authorities, managers of electoral institutions and the international community.

“Today, we mark another important step in the preparation of the 2018 legislative elections with the formalization of an instrument that will allow the coordination and the mutuality of the efforts of the Government of Guinea-Bissau, the management body of the electoral process and its partners for credible, consensual, inclusive and transparent elections,” the Head of the UN in the country said in his speech.

The provisional budget amounts $7,700,000 he disclosed. Also speaking on the occasion, the Bissau-Guinean Minister of Economy and Finance, Mamadu Fadia, according to whom the government will contribute $1 million to the organization of the ballot.

Highlighting the government's decision to contribute financially to the 2018 parliamentary elections, SRSG Touré said “this decision reinforces the principle that elections are an act of sovereignty and that it is up to each country to assume its organization, naturally counting on the support of its partners. We hope that this act will mobilize the whole society to make its contribution to the extent of its capabilities and possibilities.”

The signing of this Project Document to support the 2018 elections is the culmination of a process initiated in February 2017, when the government of Guinea-Bissau sent a request to the United Nations to support the organization of the elections scheduled to take place in 2018 and 2019, with the end of the current electoral cycle. In response, a needs assessment mission was dispatched between April and May 2017, in collaboration with electoral bodies, the government and international partners to assess the conditions and needs of the holding of elections, and made recommendations on how the United Nations should support the process.

In response to the recommendations of the Evaluation Mission, the United Nations, in close partnership with the Delegation of the European Union in Guinea-Bissau, the management bodies of the electoral process -the National Elections Commission (CNE) and the Technical Office for Electoral Processes Support (GTAPE)- and the Government, prepared the draft document signed today. This project document encompasses all the actions inherent in the electoral process, from voter registration to electoral operations, including civic education for the electorate.

The preparatory activities for the elections are already underway, with various actions being carried out by the GTAPE and the CNE, such as updating the electoral mapping.

In its 28 February 2404 Resolution, the UN Security Council has stressed the importance of holding legislative elections within the legally-mandated timeframe in 2018, and presidential elections in 2019.  It also requested the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau -UNIOGBIS- to work closely with national authorities, as well as the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in support of the timely conduct of these elections, and to strengthen democracy and good governance.