International community says presidential election must happen in 2019
After separate meetings with Bissau-Guinean political actors and heads of sovereign bodies - President of the Republic, José Mário Vaz, President of the National People's Assembly (ANP), Cipriano Cassamá and the Prime Minister, Aristides Gomes - the mission met with the members of the government, National Election Commission (CNE), Technical Electoral Support Office (GTAPE), political parties and presidential candidates on November 24.
At the end of the talks, the delegation reiterated that the presidential elections should take place "imperatively later this year", the first round on November 24 and the second round, if necessary, on December 29, according to the established schedule. “It is necessary to ensure a peaceful environment for a free, inclusive, transparent, credible and peaceful presidential election”. “Hate speech and incitement to acts of violence and aggression must be proscribed.”, reads the final statement.
The joint mission also called on the international community to urgently provide the announced technical and financial support and encourages other partners to do the same.
The mission comprised the Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, included Minata Samate Cessouma, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, General Francis A. Behanzin, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission and Ambassador Julio Morais, Director of Political, Economic and Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communities of the Republic of Cape Verde, CPLP Representative.
This joint mission, accompanied also by the Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, reinforces the support of the international community and in particular the so-called P5 (ECOWAS, EU, AU, CPLP and UN) in support for the electoral process.
In its resolution 2458 of February 2019, which renewed the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), the UN Security Council prioritized support for the electoral process in 2019.
In fulfilling its mandate, UNIOGBIS has provided technical support to electoral management bodies, worked with civil society, the media and political actors to promote peaceful elections and has undertaken resource mobilization efforts for the holding of elections. These resources are deposited in a trust fund that is managed by the United Nations Development Program.