UN official calls for int’l support for presidential poll in Guinea-Bissau

UNITED NATIONS,
Sept. 11 (Xinhua/GNA) – A UN official has called for urgent international
financial support for November’s presidential election in Guinea-Bissau.

“I would,
therefore, wish to … encourage international partners to extend their
generosity to Guinea-Bissau to provide the necessary financial support for the
election with urgency,” UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou
Keita told the Security Council on Tuesday.

“Time is of
essence. Your contributions will be instrumental in ensuring the holding of the
presidential election on Nov. 24,” she stressed.

Efforts to mobilize
resources from the international community have yielded limited results so far.
Several pledges and indications of interest have been made but with no actual
contribution, said Keita.

With only 75 days
left until the presidential election, it is important that funding is made
available now to ensure that the electoral operations — the training,
deployment and payment of polling and security personnel, as well as the
movement of materials to the polling stations – are completed in a timely
manner, she said.

2019 is a pivotal
year for Guinea-Bissau to seize the opportunity to end the recurring cycle of
instability that has hampered its socio-economic development for decades. The
risk of further instability in the period leading to the presidential election
is high, with political rivalries and poor economic prospects for the
population, said Keita.

“All efforts
must be made to ensure the timely holding of an inclusive, credible and
peaceful presidential election. Both the government and the international
community should abide by their commitments to provide resources for the
election.”

She asked all
national actors to be mindful of their duties toward the people of
Guinea-Bissau and the need to transcend narrow individual and party interests.

Guinea-Bissau has
suffered from constant political instability since August 2015, when President
Jose Mario Vaz dismissed Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira.

Although legislative
elections were finally held on March 10, 2019, after two postponements in 2018,
renewed political tensions delayed the formation of a new government. The
situation was further complicated by the conclusion of Mario Vaz’s five-year
term in office on June 23, 2019.

International
efforts led to the formation of a new government on July 3 and an agreement
that Mario Vaz would remain in office until the Nov. 24 presidential poll, with
limited powers, leaving the management of national affairs to the new
government.

GNA

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