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Guinea-Bissau Readies for Runoff Vote to Replace Slain Leader

Voters in Guinea-Bissau go to the polls Sunday for the second round of a presidential election, nearly five months after the country's long-time leader was assassinated.

Campaigning ended Friday in the race between two former heads of state: ruling party candidate Malam Bacai Sanha and opposition leader Kumba Yala.  Sanha received more votes than Yala in the first round June 28, but not enough to avoid a runoff.

The two men are competing to replace President Joao Bernardo Vieira, who was killed by mutinous soldiers in March.

The small West African nation has endured numerous coups and unrest since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974.  Yala, who was elected president in 2000, was deposed in a 2003 coup.

The country also has been corrupted by the drug trade, serving as a transit point for cocaine traffic to Europe.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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