Voters in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau go to the polls Sunday in a milestone election for a nation that has experienced five coups in the last 30 years.
Voters in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau go to the polls Sunday in a milestone election for a nation that has experienced five coups in the last 30 years. The balloting will be the first since interim President Raimundo Pereira was forced from office in 2012. Raising hopes that the transition may be smooth this time, the incumbent, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, has pledged to hand over power once a new head of state has been inaugurated.
Given its history of political turmoil, the nation's gradual rise towards stability will begin with a free, fair and credible election. This is an important step toward building a more prosperous and democratic future for the people of Guinea-Bissau.
As voters go the polls, The United States calls on authorities there to maintain an environment that allows its citizens to express their will in a peaceful exercise of their democratic rights. We encourage voters to participate fully in the electoral process and to put their nation's troubled past behind them by making their voices heard.
The United States remains a long-standing friend of the Bissau-Guinean people. We look forward to working with Guinea-Bissau as it seeks democratic rule and to achieve lasting peace in the region. When a democratically-elected government takes office, we are committed to helping the Bissau-Guinean people implement the structural reforms, national reconciliation, and good governance they deserve in order to achieve a stable, more prosperous future.