Malam Bacai Sanhá elected President of Guinea-Bissau
31 July 2009 - Malam Bacai Sanha is the new Guinea-Bissau's President. Sanha won the 26 July presidential run-off with 63.31 percent of the vote against 36.9 percent for Mohamed Kumba Yalá, from PRS, according to the final results announced by the National Electoral Commission. Sanhá, from ruling party PAIGC, described his victory as "the people's victory" and said that dialogue is one of his top priorities.
With respect to his rival in the second round, the elected president announced that he and "Guinea-Bissau people count on Kumba Yala" to address issues like dialogue, reconciliation and development. On the eve of the second round Malam Bacai Sanha and Kumba Yala signed a memorandum of understanding under the supervision of the Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba and the African Union Special Envoy, João Miranda. Both candidates agreed to accept the results and work together. Malam Bacai Sanha also announced his intention to work with all the candidates who stood for president. Eleven candidates, including a female candidate, run for the first round held on 28 June 2009.
Guinea-Bissau's presidential second round was unanimously described as "free, transparent and fair" by the electoral observation missions. In their preliminary statements, the missions deployed by African Union, ECOWAS, European Union, CPLP (lusophone community), La Francophonie and the Inter-Parliamentary Committee of West African Monetary highlighted the work done by the National Electoral Commission and Regional Electoral Commissions along the process. ECOWAS and the European Union also recommended the revision of the Electoral Law to allow Guinea-Bissau organizations to monitor elections in their country.
Malam Bacai Sanha, 62, served as interim president in 1999 and Speaker of the Parliament from 1994 to 1999. Former minister of Information and Telecommunication as well as Public Administration Reform, he is one of the historic leaders of PAIGC.
According to the People National Assembly the swearing-in ceremony of the new president of Guinea-Bissau will be held in 8 September 2009.