News

Voters in Guinea-Bissau Choosing New Leader

Voters in Guinea-Bissau are choosing a new leader. Sunday's election is meant to replace President Joao Bernardo Vieira, who was killed by mutinous troops five months ago.

Voters in Guinea-Bissau are choosing between two men who have both led the country before.

Ruling-party candidate Malam Bacai Sanha is a former interim president and chair of the national assembly who won last month's first round of voting with nearly 40 percent of ballots cast.  He is expected to gain the support of most of those who voted for an independent candidate who finished third.

Opposition candidate Kumba Yala beat Sanha in the presidential run-off in 2000. But he may have difficulty building on the 29 percent of the vote he won last month because his presidency is best remembered for financial mismanagement and the arrest of political opponents.

Though Mr. Yala is from the country's ethnic majority, which has long controlled the military, he was toppled in a 2003 coup before unilaterally declaring himself president and temporarily seizing the presidential palace in 2005.

Guinea-Bissau has a long history of army mutinies and coups.  President Vieira was killed in March within hours of his chief political rival dying in a bomb blast.

One of the opposition candidates in the first round of voting was killed by military police who said he was resisting arrest on suspicion of plotting a coup. His family says he was shot in his bed at four in the morning.

In an open letter to Mr. Sanha and Mr. Yala before Sunday's vote, the Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation and the International Crisis Group called on the losing candidate to "refrain from taking any form of violent actions that could further undermine the fragile stability in the country."

The groups urged the winner to be magnanimous as he will face immense challenges as the new president "that should transcend partisan politics."

Both candidates wrapped up their campaigns calling for an end to political assassinations.

Regional diplomats say the challenge for the new president will be forcing Bissau's military to respect civilian leadership and keep out of politics.   


This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs