Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM) has certified Sunday’s legislative and presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau ”peaceful, free, fair and transparent”.
In a preliminary report issued in Bissau on Tuesday, it said the ”minor hitches” that were recorded during the election did not in anyway tarnish the ”overall exemplary conduct” of the electoral process.
”The ECOWAS EOM wishes to stress that the elections were conducted in accordance with international good practices and the provisions of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance,” said the report, signed by former President of the Interim Government of National Unity of Liberia Amos Sawyer, who led the 220-member EOM, and his deputy Kabiné Komara, former Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Guinea.
The Mission urges all stakeholders, in particular the political parties and candidates, to put Guinea Bissau first by maintaining the peace and employing exclusively legal and constitutional means in seeking redress to any potential disputes.
”In this regard, it encourages the Supreme Court to demonstrate diligence in dealing with any disputes emanating from the elections to ensure a successful and rapid conclusion of the transition,” it said.
Ahead of the elections, ECOWAS had strongly warned that any attempt to disrupt the polls would be met with ”severe consequences”.
The much-postponed elections were aimed at returning the West African country to constitutional order, following the 2012 military coup which occurred just before the second round of a presidential election.
The country of about 1.6 million people, which gained independence from Portugal in 1973, has witnessed many coups and gained a dubious reputation as a transit point for drug smuggling from South America to Europe.