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Guinea Bissau votes

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Askari Kanzu, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    Joined: Jan 7, 2011
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    Guinea-Bissau votes in presidential election
    Nine candidates in running for leadership of instability-prone West African nation, after president's death mid-term.

    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2012 09:35
    Independent Guinea-Bissau presidential candidate Luis Nancassa is one of nine candidates running for office

    Voting is under way in the instability-probe West African nation Guinea-Bissau to elect a new president after Malam Bacai Sanha died two years into his term. Nearly 600,000 people are registered to vote in Sunday's election, which features a crowded field of nine candidates including former president Kumba Yala, who was overthrown in a 2003 coup.

    The vote follows Sanha's death in January and comes just two years after the late president's election in an emergency ballot after Joao Bernando Vieira, his predecessor and the country's dominant political figure, was gunned down inside his home.

    Rather than bringing stability, the 64-year-old had spent much of his presidency shuttling between hospitals in Europe and Africa, for what his aides described as "routine checkups''.

    Five of the nine candidates running for office this time around also ran in 2009. Even their campaign posters and slogans are largely recycled. As well as Yala, the frontrunners also include Carlos Gomes Jr, a former prime minister.

    "For us, it's really a case of history repeating itself,'" said Guinea Bissau-based political analyst Rui Landim.
    "We have little hope that anything will change. You can see it in the campaign. There's very little enthusiasm. At the rallies, there are very few people. ... It's a race between the people already in power,'' he said.

    Cocaine trade
    Guinea-Bissau gained independence from Portugal in 1974 after an 11-year conflict, but since then its history has been punctuated by unrest, with three presidents toppled in coups and another, Vieira, who was president for almost two decades in three spells in power, assassinated in 2009.

    Besides political upheaval, Guinea-Bissau has been destabilised by a booming cocaine trade, which has turned its islands into vital staging posts between South America and Europe for Latin American drug cartels.

    In 2010, the US Department of the Treasury declared two high-ranking members of the country's military as drug kingpins, freezing any assets they might have had in the United States.

    -Al Jazeera
  2. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Joined: Jan 7, 2011
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    Siasa za Afrika in umafia kwa kwenda mbele!

    Guinea Bissau's former military intelligence chief shot dead in bar

    Guinea Bissau's former head of military intelligence was shot dead at a bar near his residence in the capital Bissau late on Sunday, hours after citizens voted peacefully in a presidential election, witnesses and a security source said.
    Guinea-Bissau ruling party presidential candidate Carlos Gomes Junior waves to supporters at a campaign rally in the capital Bissau Photo: REUTERS/Joe Penney

    7:12AM GMT 19 Mar 2012
    The killing of Colonel Samba Diallo follows a rash of political assassinations in the tiny West African state, a known haven for cocaine smugglers, and places a cloud over a vote that was meant to usher in a period of greater stability.

    A resident near Diallo's residence told Reuters that soldiers fired on him just before midnight and that his body was later taken away. Another witness said he saw Diallo's body at a hospital morgue after the shooting.

    A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Diallo was shot dead while at a bar near his home, but could give no further details. A Bissau army spokesman said he had no information on the incident.

    Diallo had served as head of military intelligence under ex-Army Chief of Staff Jose Zamora Induta until the two were deposed and temporarily jailed in an April 2010 mutiny that Western diplomats said was likely over control of the lucrative drugs trade between Latin America and Europe.

    Former prime minister and ruling party presidential candidate Carlos Gomes Junior also was briefly arrested during the mutiny, but he has since said he has developed a "good working relationship with the military".

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