UN calls for peaceful election in Guinea-Bissau poll

AFP, Friday 16 Mar 2012

UN chief calls for a 'peaceful, orderly and transparent manner' in Guinea-Bissau's elections

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for peaceful, orderly and transparent elections in Guinea-Bissau, a coup-prone state in west Africa that votes for a new president on Sunday.

Ban called on "national stakeholders, including the government, political parties, civil society and the population as a whole, to ensure that the poll takes place in a peaceful, orderly and transparent manner," according to a statement by his spokesperson received by AFP on Friday.

"He calls on the candidates to follow existing legal procedures to resolve any electoral grievances that might arise and to respect the official results announced by the Supreme Court," it said.

Sunday's election in the former Portuguese colony follows the death of leader Malam Bacai Sanha in January after a long illness and will see nine candidates vying to take his place.

Guinea-Bissau is the only west African nation to have achieved independence through military force and since 1974, the army and state have been in constant, often deadly competition.

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