9 Jan 2014


The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG)  of UN for Guinea-Bissau hosted in separate meetings the leaders of the three sensitivities of PAIGC at UNIOGBIS headquarters to assess the national political situation, in general, and of the party in particular, as they prepare their congress.

José Ramos-Horta met with Domingos Simões Pereira, Braima Camará, Manuel ”Manecas” Santos and Carlos Correia, from the Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC, Portuguese acronym).

Following the meeting, the SRSG declared:

I have met with the three sensitivities of PAIGC, so that each one of them through their representatives would make an appreciation of the political situation in the country, in general, and in particular within PAIGC, with reference to the preparations for its congress. As it is known, the organization of the congress has been postponed, namely due to the disagreement on the voting process concerning the leadership of the candidate Braima Camará.  The issue is pending at justice court.

PAIGC’s Congress, scheduled for the last 4 to 7 January, has been postponed, pending on the meetings of the Political Bureau and the Central Committee, and also on the outcome of court decision over the complaints raised by the supporters of the candidate to leadership Braima Camará, which do not agree with the decision taken by the party’s Legal Department to validate the results of the regional conferences in Bafatá and Oio.

While there was already an agreement between the sensitivities of Carlos Correia, PAIGC veterans and the candidate Domingos Simões Pereira, through a unique platform to run for congress, a polarization still exists between the candidate Braima Camará and others.

I am not concerned about the discrepancies between the sensitivities of PAIGC.  That is natural for a party. While many are concerned about the debate, or the internal problems within PAIGC, I think we should see things on a positive and democratic way, as the internal fights among the different sensitivities for PAIGC leadership only reveal tolerance and the democratic health condition of the party.

The SRSG made an appeal to the three sensitivities of the PAIGC, candidates to the party’s leadership, to find a way out in order to avoid being hostage of the slowness of justice, and therefore jeopardizing the participation in general elections on March 16th.

What we need now is to hold the congress, and to have democratic decisions taken during this congress. That is to elect a leadership and to approve the statutes.

Therefore, let’s take a free, democratic and civilized congressional decision and, if it is fairly transparent, with integrity, everybody would accept the verdict of the delegates.

I remain concerned by the continued postponement of the congress, because we are approaching the deadline for PAIGC to present the list of its candidates for general elections.

A party that has more than half a century must be able to dialogue, to resolve the political problems that persist within it.

What is imperative is that there can be no more postponements of elections in Guinea-Bissau. The international community, particularly the Security Council of the United Nations would react very strongly against another postponement, which would discredit all, the political elite, the transitional regime, would weaken the UN Integrated Peace-building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) and I, as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, would assume the responsibilities, with all the consequences.