UN Security Council worried about preparations for the elections in Guinea-Bissau

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

The UN Security Council has expressed concern about the preparations for the parliamentary elections in Guinea Bissau scheduled for March 10, and warned that they should happen before the presidential elections scheduled for 2019.

In a press release released Thursday at the end of the day, the 15 members of the UN Security Council stress that holding "genuinely free and fair" elections is "vital to preserve the gains" for the stability of the country.

"Legislative elections are a fundamental step for the national reforms to be resumed and must occur before the presidential elections scheduled for 2019" they emphasize.

The Security Council also highlighted the role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in supporting the stabilization of Guinea-Bissau and praised the organization for being determined to hold accountable those who obstruct the electoral process.

The Guinea Bissau Armed Forces have once again been praised by the UN Security Council for continuing not to interfere in politics.

Members also recommend that the ECOWAS Ecomib interim force remain in the country until the end of the electoral cycle to keep the stability.

The Security Council statement was issued after the Security Council meeting on December 21 to discuss the UN Secretary-General's special report on the assessment of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), which recommends to end that mission in 2020.

Guinea-Bissau has been undergoing a political crisis since the resignation by José Mário Vaz, of the government headed by Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira, from the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC, winner of the 2014 legislative elections), in August 2015.

In April, the various political actors reached a consensus and the Guinean president appointed Aristides Gomes as prime minister with the aim of organizing legislative elections on the 18th of November.

The date of the election was postponed to March 10, 2019 due to financial and technical difficulties which delayed the start of voter registration.