Guinea-Bissau president announces new candidacy for the post

Guinea-Bissau President José Mário Vaz speaks to reporters after being received by Portugal's counterpart

Guinea-Bissau President José Mário Vaz speaks to reporters after being received by Portugal's counterpart, Aníbal Cavaco Silva (not pictured) in the Belém Palace in Lisbon, March 26, 2015. Mário Cruz / Lusa

José Mário Vaz today accepted the request made by his supporters and announced that he will be running for the presidential elections, scheduled for November 24.

"One, two, three. I proudly and honorably accept your requests to stand in for a second term", said José Mário Vaz while hundreds of supporters applauded.

"I affirm today and before you, my brothers and people of Guinea-Bissau, that it is for you, to fulfill your wishes, to continue together making this land a great country, that I am running for the presidential elections of November 24" continued the Guinean President.

José Mário Vaz was speaking in a cultural space in Bissau, which began to be prepared early this morning for the announcement ceremony, which, according to the organization, gathered about two thousand people.

The press was called to attend at 03:00 pm, (16:00), local time in Lisbon, but had to wait, like supporters, for more than three hours to hear the expected announcement by the Guinean President that he is running for presidential elections.

In a lengthy 12-page speech, José Mário Vaz took stock of his five-year tenure and criticized his political opponents.

According to José Mário Vaz, the "insults and lies" came from those who until today "were the only beneficiaries" of Guinea-Bissau's independence and "its riches".

"Is it normal for a citizen and leader of a large party to ask the military to carry out a coup? Is it normal, that today, the same individual calling for a coup against the constitution is a presidential candidate to enforce the constitution?", asked José Mário Vaz.

The Guinean President was referring to the leader of the African Independence Party of Guinea and Cape Verde, Domingos Simões Pereira, who is the presidential candidate of this party, after seeing his name rejected by José Mário Vaz for the post of prime minister.

The President's candidacy is supported by several movements, including that of Botche Candé, elected deputy by the Social Renewal Party and adviser to José Mário Vaz, and by several parties without parliamentary a seat.

In addition to José Mário Vaz and Domingos Simões Pereira, are candidates for presidential elections Carlos Gomes Junior, former Prime Minister of the country and independent candidate Umaro Sissoco Embalo, also former head of the Guinean Government and supported by the Movement for Democratic Alternation (Madem- G15), Idrissa Djaló, leader of the Party of National Unity, and Vladimir Deuna, also from Madem-G15, but running as independent.

Independent candidate Nancy Schwartz is so far the only woman in the race.

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