Cote d'Ivoire: 'Disrupt Guinea Bissau election, face severe consequences'

Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - ECOWAS has strongly warned that any attempt to disrupt Guinea Bissau's legislative and presidential elections next month will be met with ''severe consequences''.

PANA reports that the West African nation is due to hold the much-postponed elections 13 April to return to constitutional order, following the 2012 military coup which occurred just before the second round of a presidential election.

Rising from their 44th summit in Yamoussoukro over the weekend, ECOWAS leaders cautioned members of the Defence and Security Forces, as well as the political class, in Guinea Bissau ''against any acts that may disrupt the smooth conduct of the electoral process, failing which perpetrators would be liable to severe consequences''.

They also cautioned political parties, candidates and their supporters to refrain from acts of provocation, incitement and any other action that may impede the successful conduct of the elections, and to resort to exclusively peaceful and legal means in seeking redress to any grievances.

The leaders also directed the ECOWAS Commission to take all necessary additional measures to ensure the conduct of peaceful, free, fair, and transparent elections.

Meanwhile, the leaders have asked the African Union (AU) and the rest of the international community to quickly lift the sanctions imposed on Guinea Bissau.

They also extended, till 31 March 2014, the mandate of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB), and the transition period in the country till the inauguration of elected officials.

The West African nation 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.
-0- PANA SEG 31March2014

31 mars 2014 11:18:15

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