After a successful first round which had a voter turnout of 88 percent - the highest in the history of democratic elections in the country, Guinea-Bissau held its second round of presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday 18 May.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided technical support to the National Elections Commission, as well as purchased and distributed 805,000 ballot papers and voting related forms (result tally sheets, voters record list, etc.) in the country and to the diaspora living in Cape Verde, France, Gambia, Guinea (Conakry), Portugal, Senegal and Spain.
"The first round went well, people participated in an orderly manner and I expect that the second round will be similar, and that the candidates will accept the results that I hope will translate the voters’ wish,” said Mariam Djalo, a voter living in Cuntum Madina, one of Bissau City neighborhoods.
Besides UNDP’s support, a network of 1,000 Civic Education Agents supported the process throughout the country, conducting sensitization programmes on how to vote and encouraging stronger voter participation.
The main objective of the Civic Education group in this second round was to reduce the number of invalid votes, considered high in the first round, amounting to 100,000 ballots.
“This final phase of the elections marks the conclusion of a long process that we hope would not only conclude in the restoration of constitutional order, but also bring an end to the politics of exclusion and to the culture of impunity. The UN and other partners of the country look forward to a full reengagement with the government and the people of Guinea-Bissau, on the importance of building an accountable state that works with and for its people, and a resilient nation,” said Mr. Gana Fofang, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Guinea-Bissau.