Presidential election in chaotic Guinea-Bissau could resolve political impasse

After weeks of political turmoil including violent protests, an alleged coup attempt and the emergence of two competing prime ministers,…

After weeks of political turmoil including violent protests, an alleged coup attempt and the emergence of two competing prime ministers, Guinea-Bissau is holding a presidential election on Sunday that many hope will usher in a semblance of calm.

The vote will pit President Jose Mario Vaz against old rival and former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, and 10 other candidates seeking to draw a line under five years of turbulence under Vaz characterised by high-level sackings and a barely functioning parliament.

“As soon as a new president is elected, Bissau will turn one of the gloomier pages of its history,” said homemaker Virginia Mendes on her way to the shops in the capital Bissau this week.

Pereira, who has styled himself as a moderniser, is seen as the front-runner by political observers in Guinea Bissau and internationally.

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