Voters in Guinea-Bissau go to the polls Sunday for a presidential
election. Eleven candidates are running to succeed long-time leader Joao Bernardo Vieira
who was killed by mutinous troops four months ago.
candidates wrapped up their campaigns with big rallies in the capital
Friday, promising economic development and stability in one of the
world's poorest countries with a history of army mutinies and coups.
is an official Day of Reflection in Guinea-Bissau for voters to
consider all they have heard over the last weeks of campaigning.
So what are they thinking ahead of Sunday's vote?
man in the eastern town of Gabu says he has not chosen a candidate. He
listens to what the candidates say and will decide on election day.
Candidates talk and talk, he says, but they have not shown him any
platforms or written documents about what they will do if they win.
secondary school teacher says she will vote for independent candidate
Henrique Rosa because she believes he will bring solutions to
Guinea-Bissau. When I finish work, she says, I want to have a good life.
says she does not like how the leading opposition candidate Kumba Yala
speaks badly about other people. When he was president from 2000 to
2003, she says civil servants were not paid for nine months. Now Yala
is coming to ask for their votes. During his time in office, she says
she came to work hungry and it was hard to teach.
At a Yala
rally in the city of Bafata, this supporter says the former philosophy
professor has what it takes to lead the country.
For me, he says, Kumba Yala is very important for Guinea-Bissau because he best knows the problems of Guinea-Bissau.
a rally outside the capital for ruling-party candidate Malam Bacia
Sanha, this supporter says Sanha has the experience to unite the
"Malam Bacai Sanha is man who has a lot of political
experience," he Sanha. "Not only does he have experience in the armed
struggle, he was a teacher. And he went to study political science in
"He came back and has had many different
positions. He was the governor for two different regions. He was
administrator. He was secretary-general of the trade union. He was the
president of the national parliament. He was the interim president. And
he is a very calm man. He has a lot of compassion for our people," he
No candidate is expected to win an outright majority in
Sunday's first round of voting, meaning the top two finishers will meet
again in a runoff to restore constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau.