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All set for Guinea-Bissau’s December 29 presidential poll runoff

Voters in Guinea Bissau get a second and final shot at electing a new president to replace Jose Mario Vaz, who lost a re-election bid in November.

Voters will have to choose between two former prime ministers – Domingos Simoes Pereira, who led in the first round of voting and Umaro Sissoco Embalo. The outgoing Mario Vaz came in third with about 12% of votes.

During the last campaign rally in the capital Bissau, supporters of 57-year-old Domingos Simoes Pereira predicted victory for their leader. He poled 40.13% of the votes in the first round

“We are going to win the elections on December 29, 2019. Domingo Simoes Pereira is the best candidate. He has a vision for the development of the country, a strategic vision to develop education, health, the country’s infrastructure and all that,” one supporters said.

Umaro Sissoco Embalo, 47, a former general who came second with 27.65 per cent of the vote, presents himself as a unifier of the nation. He is counting on the support of the losing candidates including the outgoing Mario Vaz.

Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony of 1.8 million inhabitants, has been independent since 1974 and is struggling with political instability that is slowing down development. The ECOWAS observers are present to ensure the regularity of the elections.

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