Guinea-Bissau urged to stick to election timeline

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Guinea Bissau (iStock)
Guinea Bissau (iStock)

The United Nations joined two other international organisations on Thursday in calling on Guinea-Bissau to hold legislative elections on schedule November 18.

The appeal by the UN, African Union and the Economic Community of West Africa followed the Guinea-Bissau government's decision to extend for a month a voter census, a move that threatens to force a delay in the elections.

The elections are seen as crucial to resolving a political crisis that has gripped the poor West African country since President Jose Mario Vaz sacked his prime minister in August 2015.

The voter census was originally scheduled to conclude October 20, but is now set to end two days after the date scheduled for the election.

In a joint statement, the three organisations called for "renewed efforts to assure that the November 18 legislative elections are held within the requisite time and under conditions of transparency, regularity and credibility."

They urged all sides "to work for the creation of the conditions necessary for the smooth roll-out of the electoral process."

The statement said the elections were "a decisive step in consolidating the gains made in Guinea-Bissau," and urged international support for the process.

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