UN Secretary General urges peaceful vote in Guinea Bissau

Mar 16, 2012

Preparations are underway for the presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau. Photo: UNDP

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to the people of Guinea Bissau to ensure a peaceful election as voters go to the polls this Sunday to choose a new president.

Some 590,000 people are registered to vote in the election, organised following the death of the country’s president, Malam Bacai Sanha, in January this year.

In a statement, the Secretary General appealed “to national stakeholders, including the Government, political parties, civil society and the population as a whole, to ensure that the poll takes place in a peaceful, orderly and transparent manner.”

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is managing a USD 6.2 million basket fund in support of the country’s electoral cycle from 2012 to 2014, with contributions from Brazil, the European Union, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

UNDP provided technical support to the country’s National Electoral Commission and trained 13,000 polling staff who have been deployed across the country in advance of the vote.

In addition, UNDP worked with the government of Portugal to deliver more than 14 tons of electoral material by air, including ballot boxes, to polling stations.

Beyond the election, UNDP’s electoral cycle project will continue to provide technical support and training for Guinea-Bissau’s election bodies, in addition to facilitating dialogue between political parties and civil society organizations, and civic education among the electorate.

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