Guinea Bissau’s incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz has failed to advance to the second round of voting in presidential election, finishing in a distant fourth.
Results announced on Wednesday rather put two former Guinea-Bissau prime ministers in the lead. They would contest the presidential run-off vote.
The electoral commission said Domingos Simoes Pereira finished first with 40% and Umaro Cissoko Embalo came second with 28% in the November 24 first-round poll.
Commission president Jose Pedro Sambu told reporters that the presidential run-off will take place on December 29.
This is because neither top candidates passed the 50% required to win the presidency outright.
“The elections were just, free and transparent,” Pereira, 56, told reporters. “We are satisfied with the results. I salute Umaro Embalo Cissoko, my second round opponent, whom I respect.”
Embalo, 47, who served as prime minister under Vaz from 2016-18, told a news conference that according to his camp’s count, he received 36% and Pereira 38%.
“I will win the second round and will lead a crusade against drug trafficking and corruption,” he said.
President Jose Mario Vaz, 61, was seeking re-election for a second term.
Guinea Bissau has experienced nine coups or attempted coups since independence from Portugal in 1974.
In 2012 there was a military takeover and should Vaz completes his term, he will be the first president to do so.
Mr Vaz, 62, has been in office since 2014 after a tight presidential contest that he won in a run-off.