Jose Mario Vaz wins Guinea-Bissau election

2014-05-20 18:21
An election official shows a ballot at a polling station in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau during national elections. (File, AFP)

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

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Bissau - The front-runner in Guinea-Bissau's presidential race, Jose Mario Vaz, won the decisive run-off on Tuesday, according to preliminary results released by election officials.

The candidate of the west African nation's largest party won an overwhelming 62% of the vote against independent rival Nuno Gomes Nabiam, the election commission said.

If confirmed, the former finance minister will be named the country's first elected leader since a military coup in 2012 upended an already fragile country in the grip of powerful cocaine cartels and plagued by intermittent political violence.

Vaz, 57, of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, won the first round on 13 April but failed to get an outright majority, pitting him against Nabiam in a head-to-head second round on Sunday.

Already mired in poverty, the fragile nation of 1.6 million has been stagnating for two years under the rule of an army-backed transitional government, with the economy anaemic and endemic corruption fuelled by rampant drug trafficking.

The election was seen as a key test of its progress after the 2012 coup. But turnout in the run-off, at 78% of an electorate of 800 000 people, was some way short of the 89% participation rate in the first round.

The two candidates have 48 hours to make representations to the supreme court before it confirms the result.

Read more on:    guinea-bissau  |  west africa

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