Guinea Bissau: Guinea-Bissau Election - Polls Close Amid Fraud Claims

The crowd at a presidential campaign rally in Guinea Bissau.
25 November 2019

Voters had been hoping the presidential elections would draw a line under years of political chaos. But the day ended with scuffles and accusations of cheating.

Guinea-Bissau's election concluded on Sunday with the current president's team accusing opponents of electoral corruption. Fights broke out on the streets of the West African country.

Despite initially promising to accept the results, President Jose Mario Vaz's campaign manager accused his rivals of fraud.

Botche Cande told reporters that cheating had occurred "with the complicity of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde" (PAIGC), an opposition party.

Cande said a member of the PAIGC's youth wing was seen distributing rice and money in exchange for votes.

"Under such conditions, President Vaz will not accept tainted results," he added.

Nevertheless, Felisberta Moura Vaz, Deputy Executive Secretary and spokeswoman for the National Election Commission, told DW that a definitive result will be confirmed in the coming days.

"Regarding the provisional results, we will pronounce in the next 72 hours," she said.

The spokeswoman also called for calm. "I take this opportunity to appeal to the tolerance, serenity and sense of responsibility of all the candidacies, media and others involved in this noble act. Once again appealing to the national and international community, in particular to national and foreign media, to refrain from conveying information leading to electoral results, this competence is exclusively within the CNE's mandate."

Guinea-Bissau Election - Polls Close Amid Fraud Claims

Jose Mario Vaz, 61, is seeking a second term as president after a turbulent first stint amid the dismissal of high-level members of his team, as well as accusations of corruption.

Just last month, it was still unclear as to whether Guinea-Bissau's election would go ahead. There were coup allegations and military patrols in the country's capital with many fearing Sunday's elections would be canceled.

(Reuters, AFP)

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