/ languages

Choisir langue


Former presidents to face off in second round of presidential poll

Article published on the 2009-07-02 Latest update 2009-07-02 14:22 TU

Kumba Yala (L) and Mallam Bacai Sanha.(Photos: AFP)

Kumba Yala (L) and Mallam Bacai Sanha.
(Photos: AFP)

Guinea-Bissau's presidential election is to go to a run-off between two former presidents. The poll takes place after the assassinaton of former incumbent Joao Bernando Vieira.

Guinea-Bissau’s presidential election will enter its second round on 2 August, the head of the National Electoral Commission said Thursday. The two remaining candidates, Malam Bacai Sanha and Kumba Yala, are both former heads of state.

Eleven candidates ran in the first round of the election on 28 June, which followed the assassination of President Joao Bernando Vieira.

Sanha is the candidate for the long-dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, which controls 67 of the 100 seats in the National Assembly. He also served as interim President from June 1999 to May 2000.

Yala was President of Guinea-Bissau from 2000 until he was deposed in a military coup in September 2003.

Provisional results of the first round, which was marked by one of the lowest voter-turnouts on record, gave Sanha 39.59 percent of the vote and Yala 29.42 percent.

Observers from the European Union said Wednesday that while the election proceeded without incident, turnout may have been low due to a lingering atmosphere of intimidation in the wake of Vieira’s murder.