President of Guinea-Bissau marks legislative elections for March 10

Bissau, 08/06/2018 - Report in Guinea Bissau. Praça do Império (Leonardo Negrão / Global Imagen

Guinea-Bissau President José Mário Vaz scheduled, this Thursday, the legislative elections to March 10, according to a presidential decree sent to the press.

The legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau were initially scheduled for November 18, but delays in the preparation of the electoral process led to their postponement.

The announcement of the presidential decision comes one day after the end of the voter registration.

Earlier this week Guinean Prime Minister Aristides Gomes had proposed in a meeting with the political parties that the legislative elections took place on February 17. At this meeting, other possible dates for the ballot were discused, such as February 24 and March 10. The latter was the one chosen by President Jose Maria Vaz.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has been mediating the political conflict in Guinea-Bissau, had called, last week, for the legislative elections to be held before the leaders' summit, which will take place on Saturday, 22.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) called, today, for the Guinean legislative elections to be held by the end of January and for the date to be known until the organization's next summit on December 22.

"The [ECOWAS] ministerial delegation reaffirms the urgent need to fix the date of the elections, before the end of January, 2019. That date should be known before the next [ECOWAS Heads of State and Government] summit on December 22," said the final communiqué of a minestrial mission's visit to the Guinean capital, which took place on the 12th.

In a statement, the ECOWAS ministerial mission led by Nigeria's Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama had noted "great surprise" and "incomprehension" with the measures taken to stop the ongoing electoral process, at a time when, "in response to the requests of certain political actors and the Government, a team of auditors of the organization was sent to ensure the transparency of the process."

On July 7, the Public Prosecutor's Office ordered the suspension of the census, a measure that was annulled five days later.