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Guinea Bissau’s President fails to make it to run-off poll

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

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.

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Domingos Simoes Pereira (L) and Umaro Cissoko Embalo (R)

“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.


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