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Guinea-Bissau Elections

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Guinea-Bissau Elections

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Elections have been going on today to elect a new president in the small West African state of Guinea-Bissau.

The election, the second round, was being held after the previous president was assassinated in March. Since then a presidential candidate and former defence minister have also been killed. The candidates are both past leaders of the former Portuguese colony. The favourite is Malam Bacai Sanha, a member of the ruling government party. He promised the people peace, stability and a crack-down on crime if elected. His opponent Kumba Yala declared himself president in 2005. His term was marked by political chaos and isolation when the World Bank and IMF cut off lending to Guinea Bissau. Since its independence from Portugal in 1974, hopes for progress have disappeared in a mire of poverty, drug trafficking and assassination. UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for a peaceful vote and urged both candidates to accept the final result and settle disputes through legal means.