Guinea Bissau Set To Hold Presidential Run Off Election

Guinea Bissau Set To Hold Presidential Run Off Election
Domingos Simoes Pereira and Umaro Sissoco Embalo

People in Guinea-Bissau are heading out today in a Presidential runoff to choose between two former prime ministers — Domingos Simoes Pereira, from the traditional ruling PAIGC party, and opposition figure Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

Incumbent Jose Mario Vaz crashed out of the race in the first round in November. He became the first elected president in 25 years to reach the end of his mandate without being ousted by the military or dying in office.

Pereira led with 40% of the first-round vote. Embalo, received just over 27% of the vote, but has drawn support from a number of other candidates who did not advance to the runoff.

Embalo, a former general who wears a red-and-white Arab keffiyeh headdress, is pitching himself as a unifier of the nation.

Embalo “has been able to rally all of the country’s heavyweights behind him,” said political analyst Agusto Nhaga.

Polls open at 0700 GMT and close at 1700 GMT. Results are not expected until Monday.

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