Bissau – Guinea-Bissau will hold legislative elections in March — four months after a vote was originally scheduled — in an attempt to defuse a long-running crisis, the presidency said Thursday.
The former Portuguese colony, one of the world’s poorest countries, has been locked in a political standoff since President Jose Mario Vaz sacked his premier in 2015.
A presidential decree said Thursday the election will be held on March 10, 2019, after it was delayed from November 18.
Under a deal brokered by Western African regional bloc ECOWAS in April, a consensus prime minister Aristide Gomes was named with the task of steering the country to a vote.
But the ballot was delayed by difficulties in drawing up an electoral list.
The UN and African neighbours have been urging Guinea-Bissau to hold the vote. The UN special representative for West Africa last month pressed the government to finally set an election date.