Top UN official hails peaceful Guinea-Bissau vote

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The United Nations Deputy Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau has congratulated the country’s politicians, voters and officials for the peaceful national assembly elections held on Sunday.

David McLachlan-Karr said the vote was “a very positive result for the people”, adding that “people have come out to vote in large numbers, voted peacefully. There have been no reports of major security incidents around the country.”

The UN, earlier this year expressed optimism that the vote would help end the political crisis that has rocked the West African nation since 2015.

McLachlan-Karr described the day as “a new chapter in the country’s democratic history. It will pave the way for the formation of a new government, and for the creation, we hope, of the right conditions for reform and for democratization, peacebuilding, and stabilization in the future.”

Preliminary results are expected to start streaming in on Monday, with officials results expected anytime from Wednesday.

The party that wins majority of the seats will be invited to form a government.

With continued positive developments, the UN Security Council in February approved a resolution which will see the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau, UNIOGBIS, by the end of 2020.

McLachlan-Karr said that, for the next two years, he hopes “the United Nations Mission will continue to lead good offices to ensure there is a stabilization and peace building agenda” and that it “will continue to work with the new government, continue to work with civil society and other agencies to ensure that a series of necessary reforms takes place.”

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