Two Guinea-Bissau ex-premiers through to presidential runoff

Two former Guinea-Bissau prime ministers advanced on Wednesday to a presidential run-off vote, the electoral commission said, with incumbent Jose…

Two former Guinea-Bissau prime ministers advanced on Wednesday to a presidential run-off vote, the electoral commission said, with incumbent Jose Mario Vaz finishing a distant fourth after a tenure marked by infighting and corruption scandals.

Domingos Simoes Pereira finished first with 40% and Umaro Cissoko Embalo came second with 28% in the Nov. 24 first-round poll, commission president Jose Pedro Sambu told reporters, though Embalo later claimed that his own team’s vote count showed it to be a closer fought race.

Because neither passed the 50% required to win the presidency outright, they will face off in a second round on Dec. 29.

“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.”

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