G-Bissau presidential vote to head to run-off

2014-04-17 12:52
An election official shows a ballot during ballot counting at a polling station in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau during national elections. (Seyllou, AFP)

An election official shows a ballot during ballot counting at a polling station in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau during national elections. (Seyllou, AFP)

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Bissau - A former finance minister from Guinea-Bissau's dominant party and a bureaucrat with the backing of the military will face each other in a presidential election run-off, the election commission announced on Wednesday.

The international community is closely watching these elections because the country has become a transit hub for the cocaine trade. The head of the military is under federal indictment in the United States for, among other things, conspiring to import cocaine to the US.

The provisional results announced on Wednesday will pit Jose Mario Vaz, a former finance minister from the dominant PAIGC party, against Nuno Gomes Na Biam, who ran the civil transport agency. Vaz received just over 40% of the vote, while Na Biam garnered about 25%.

The runoff is expected to be held on 18 May.

Results from the legislative elections showed the PAIGC party had grabbed a majority of the seats.

Sunday's elections unfolded fairly smoothly, according to international observers. But the country is notoriously unstable, and its last elections, in 2012, were short-circuited by a coup in between two rounds of voting. A caretaker government took power soon after and has been running the country since.

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