Guinean PR wants to revise Constitution and update voters with the support of ECOWAS

José Mário Vaz speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2016

José Mário Vaz speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2016

  |  Reuters

On Tuesday, Guinean President José Mário Vaz called for support from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the revision of the constitution and for the updating of electoral rolls for presidential elections scheduled for November 24.

"The legislative and presidential elections without the necessary reforms will not represent the magic solution to the political problems of my country and will not be able to free Guinea Bissau from the vicious cycle of instability," said the Guinean president.

José Mário Vaz was speaking at the 55th Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held in Abuja, Nigeria.

"The problem of Guinea Bissau is not a problem of people, but of institutions and systems of governance," he said.

For José Mário Vaz, it is necessary that a constitutional reform which "allows the redefinition and indispensable clarification of the system of governance and, above all, the powers and competencies of the President of the Republic and, consequently, the elimination of focus of recurrent instability" is carried out before the elections.

"The most expeditious way to implement the constitutional reform will be through a previous referendum, which will define the system of government that should be quickly adopted by the parliament before the official presentation of the candidates for the presidential elections," said José Mário Vaz.

The head of state also defended the "urgency" of the reform of the defense and security forces, the Public Administration and Justice.

"I would like to request the help of our organization, ECOWAS, to support us in updating the current electoral roll in Guinea-Bissau, which would allow us to avoid problems with which we were confronted during the legislative elections," he said.