The United Nations Security Council today urged all political parties and candidates in Guinea-Bissau to respect the results of last week's presidential poll to restore democratic rule two years after a coup, and urged international observers to stand ready to assist as the country gears up for a run-off ballot.
In a statement to the press following consultations on recent developments in Guinea-Bissau, Security Council President for the month of June, Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France, said the members of the 15-nation body expressed satisfaction with the peaceful and orderly manner in which the first round of the elections had taken place.
"[They] congratulate the people of the country and all political actors, including political parties, for this important demonstration of their commitment to democracy and peace," Ambassador de La Sablière said, adding that Council members also urged all candidates and political parties to respect the election results and to commit themselves to national unity.
"Members of the Council recalled that according to the political tradition charter, the holding of presidential elections and the upcoming assumption of the new democratically elected head of state will make the full restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau," he said.
Members of the Security Council commended the international community for its support of the electoral process, including the designation of a large number of observers by the African Union, the European Union, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), among others.
"Moreover, they requested that this support be maintained if a second round of elections is confirmed according to electoral calendar and legislation," Ambassador de La Sablière said.
In a report last week on the work of the UN Peace-building Support Office in Guinea Bissau (UNOGBIS), Secretary-general Kofi Annan noted that tensions over preparations for the elections in the small West African nation, which has suffered a series of coups in recent years, showed that peace and stability remained fragile and required the continued engagement of all key national and international actors.