AU prepared to lift Guinea Bissau sanctions

guinea-bissau-election

The AU suspended Guinea Bissau from its membership after a coup in the world’s known transit point for narcotics.

The African Union, AU, has declared its readiness to lift the sanctions against Guinea Bissau following presidential elections there.

The AU Peace and Security Council, PSC, said on Thursday that the sanctions would be lifted upon the completion of the elections.

“We are hopeful this process (elections) has brought us to the last hurdle.

“If a winner emerges, the council is looking forward to knowing the results,’’ Paul Lolo Bolus, the PSC President, said.

The Nigerian ambassador to the AU, currently holding the council presidency, said that if a new President emerged through a round one victory or a runoff, the council constitutional requirements would have been met.

“The constitutional order would have returned and Guinea Bissau would be invited to take its place at the AU,’’ the Nigerian envoy said.

Guinea Bissau went to the polls to elect a new President after the past elections ended in a coup.

The Party for Guinea and Cape Verde, PAIGC, candidate, Jose Mario Vaz, got 40.98 per cent of the votes against opponent Nuno Nabium, an independent with 25.14 per cent.

“The electoral process is only a step. Critical reforms are needed to place Guinea Bissau on a new pedestal.

“They need support of the region and the international partners,” Mr. Bolus stressed.

Guinea Bissau is headed for a second round after the first round was conducted in what the AU election observers said was free and fair.

“It is our expectations that Guinea Bissau will turn the final corner on its history.

“We have had successful elections before but the problem appears to be on managing the outcome while we hope they will enjoy stability,’’ he said.

The AU suspended Guinea Bissau from its membership after a coup in the world’s known transit point for narcotics.

(PANA/NAN)