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Guinea-Bissau to hold first polls since coup

Thirteen politicians running for top job in the first elections since president toppled by military in 2012.

Last updated: 12 Apr 2014 01:08
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Guinea-Bissau goes to the polls on Sunday in search of a new president and parliament who can return stability to a country plagued by drugs and upended by a military coup two years ago.

Thirteen politicians are in the running for the country's top job while 15 parties are fielding candidates for parliament.

Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi, reporting from the city of Canchungo, said: "People want to hear leaders telling them that they want to reform all sectors of this country. They are tired of all the uncertainties and want peaceful election."

The election will be the first since Antonio Indjai, a former army chief of staff, agreed in May 2012 to hand power to a civilian transitional regime headed by President Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, who was tasked with holding elections within 12 months.

He postponed the vote indefinitely, arguing that polls within such a tight  timescale would be "technically impossible", but international pressure and the crippled economy finally forced the hand of the military and its political allies.

Guinea-Bissau has a history of coups and no elected leader has served a full term in office since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1974 after a war that lasted more than 10 years.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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