Friday 20 April 2018

Guinea-Bissau votes for new president and parliament

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 17:16 -- Henri Ahyite

Voting has ended in presidential and parliamentary elections in Guinea-Bissau with no reported problems or incidents.

The impoverished west African country of 1.6 million is plagued by corruption and cocaine trafficking.

It is the first election since a coup in 2012, after which the EU and others suspended aid donations.

With a history of coups, no elected leader has served a full term since independence from Portugal in 1974.

Voters in Guinea-Bissau have begun casting their ballots to elect a new president and legislators in an election meant to draw a line under a 2012 military coup that plunged the West African nation into chaos.

The front-runner in a field of 13 for the presidency is Jose Mario Vaz, the former finance minister and candidate of the dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

Most of the presidential candidates come from a new generation of politicians. Chief among these is Paulo Gomes, a former World Bank executive and Harvard graduate who is seen as the strongest challenger to Vaz.