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Elections in Guinea-Bissau


FILE - PAIGC party's candidate Jose Mario Vaz shows his inked finger after voting in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, April 13, 2014.

Voters in Guinea-Bissau helped the West African nation take a large step toward returning to democratic rule, turning out in good numbers to choose former Finance Minister Jose Mario Vaz as president in the May 18 run-off election.

Voters in Guinea-Bissau helped the West African nation take a large step toward returning to democratic rule, turning out in good numbers to choose former Finance Minister Jose Mario Vaz as president in the May 18 run-off election. In balloting seen by international monitors as transparent, credible and without major incident Mr. Vaz received 61.9 percent of the vote, defeating independent candidate Nuno Gomes Nabiam, who took 38.1 percent.

The nation's Supreme Court must now validate the results before they become official. A decision is expected in the coming days.

Mr. Vaz is the first freely elected president since a coup disrupted voting in 2012. A transitional government has ruled since the military surrendered power and the new president taking office will end that transition back to elected rule.

T​he United States congratulates the people of Guinea-Bissau and looks forward to working with Mr. Vaz and his government as it works to achieve lasting peace in the region. We also commend Mr. Nabiam for accepting the result and conceding for the sake of peace and stability. We urge the country's leaders, both civilian and military, to hear the voice of their people and bring the political transition period to a successful conclusion.

These elections offer the opportunity for comprehensive reforms to break Guinea-Bissau’s cycle of corruption, and make progress on providing public services, advancing democracy, and expanding the country’s development.

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