UN envoy hails plans for Guinea-Bissau elections, warns against provocations

30 May 2005

The senior United Nations envoy to West Africa today hailed the fact that Guinea-Bissau will go forward with elections planned for later this month but warned leaders there that the international community will not abide provocations during the polling process.

The senior United Nations envoy to West Africa today hailed the fact that Guinea-Bissau will go forward with elections planned for next month but warned leaders there that the international community will not abide provocations during the polling process.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah noted with satisfaction that the authorities of Guinea-Bissau will proceed with presidential elections, as scheduled, on 19 June.

“Mr. Ould-Abdallah is particularly encouraged by the statements of the country's military leadership that the armed forces will remain politically neutral, respect the rule of law and the democratic institutions, and strictly observe the principle of subordination to the civilian authorities,” a spokeswoman for the Dakar-based envoy said.

He congratulated the people of Guinea-Bissau, in particular civil society organizations and other people of influence, for their determination to defend their freedoms and work to ensure the organization of credible, peaceful, fair and transparent elections, according to the spokeswoman.

The Special Representative also congratulated the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) for their “active role in defusing the latest political crisis in this troubled country,” she said.

At the same time, he warned the political leaders of Guinea-Bissau that the international community “would not tolerate any attempts to increase tension or provoke violence during the election campaign.”

 

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