Security Council calls for respect for presidential elections

José Mário Vaz

José Mário Vaz

  |  Tiago Petinga-Lusa

The United Nations body called for respect for the date of the forthcoming presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau, rejecting the change of power decided by the Guinean president.

The statement was adopted unanimously by the 15 members of the UN Security Council.

The United Nations statement was adopted on Thursday, the same day that Guinean President Jose Mário Vaz appointed Faustino Imbali's new government, days after he dismissed the executive led by Aristides Gomes.

The adoption of the Security Council statement was the result of a closed meeting on Thursday, convened at the request of the three African members of the Security Council, in this case South Africa, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea, and another meeting is already scheduled for next Monday, November 4, in the morning.

In the document, the Security Council expressed "deep concern over the political and social situation" in Guinea-Bissau and urged "President José Mário Vaz and the government led by Prime Minister, Aristides Gomes, responsible for leading the electoral process, to resolve their differences in a spirit of respect and cooperation", seeming to ignore the change of executive.

"Calls on Guinea-Bissau's political actors to observe maximum restraint, not to resort to violence or incitement to hatred and to privilege dialogue as the only way to resolve differences and preserve peace and security in the country", reads the document.

The Security Council underlines the "urgent need to hold the presidential elections on November 24, as agreed, in order to complete the electoral cycle that allows for a peaceful transfer of power to the president-elect."

The UN body also recalls that it can decide to go ahead with sanctions against those destabilizing the country, and takes the opportunity to praise "the strict neutrality" that both security forces and the Army have shown so far.