Voters in the West African nation of Guinea Bissau have gone to the polls in a presidential runoff poll between two former heads of state after the nation’s long serving leader,Joao Bernardo Vieira was assassinated in March.
News24 says the runoff is between former presidents Kumba Yala and Bacai Sanha, who won the most votes on June 28th.
Fears of intervention by the army were raised when Guinea Bissau’s army commander, General Zamora Induta warned candidates to turn to the courts in case of disputes, adding that the military:
Will not allow any threat to public order, stability and internal peace.
The African Union (A.U.) special envoy to the country, Joao Miranda said he had met both contenders and had called for ”calm and a spirit of fair play.” Miranda added:
They told me the loser would congratulate the winner and would promise to work with him to guarantee peace and stability.
Guinea Bissau, a former Portuguese colony, has suffered a number of coups and mutinies since independence in 1974, including 1998, 2003 and 2004. The current elections are to replace Vieira, who was murdered by soldiers in an apparent revenge attack for the killing of the Chief of the General Staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai., according to the open encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.