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Guinea-Bissau 2nd Round Presidential Vote Brought Forward to July 26

BISSAU. The second round of presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau has been brought forward to July 26 to enable farmers in the west African nation to continue harvesting unhindered, a statement said on Sunday.

The second round between Malam Bacai Sanha and Kumba Yala, two former heads of state, had initally been announced for August 2 but the National Electoral Commission switched the dates again.

"We are in the harvesting season and most of the voters are farmers. This is one of the factors which weighed the most in this decision."

Eleven candidates, including three former presidents, ran in the first round on June 28 to replace assassinated leader Joao Bernardo Vieira in the coup-prone former Portuguese colony of 1.3 million people.

Sanha served as interim president from June 1999 to May 2000 and was candidate for the long-dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which already controls 67 of the 100 seats in the national assembly.

Yala's time in office between 2000 and 2003 was marked by wide fiscal mismanagement and sweeping arrests of opposition figures until he was brought down in a coup.

Source: AFP

Tags:Guinea Bissau
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