Appeal to international community to support 18 March presidential elections

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20 January 2012 – Guinea-Bissau interim President of Republic Raimundo Pereira today announced that the presidential elections will take place on 18 March 2012 as he called for international support to help the country hold the scrutiny.

“The anticipated presidential elections will take place on 18 March”, states the presidential decree issued Friday morning in Bissau. According to the decree, “legal and political conditions” exist for the holding of the elections, in accordance with the Constitution.

The polls aim to elect the successor of President Malam Bacai Sanhá, 64, who passed away on 9 January 2012 in Paris. According to the Constitution, the elections must be held within 60 days.

In a message to the nation, the interim President recalled his consultations with political parties in order to reach a consensus and with the National Electoral Commission (CNE). “I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Government, CNE and political parties’ dedication, work and intensity to find a consensual solution to speed the normalization of the political situation."

Mr. Pereira also called for the “international community usual solidarity and understanding in order to accelerate its support so the date to choose the new President of Republic is respected”. According to the CNE, the elections cost amount approximately three million euro.

The country main political parties - PAIGC (ruling party) and PRS and PRID (opposition) welcomed the proposed date.

Both UN Secretary-General’s message and Security Council statement called for the respect of the succession arrangements provided in the constitution of Guinea-Bissau and peaceful, timely and fair presidential elections.