Voters cast their ballots in Guinea Bissau’s presidential election today, Sunday, which they hope will bring change to the coup-prone nation after weeks of political chaos that sparked violent protests and deadlocked parliament.
President Jose Mario Vaz, 61, is seeking re-election for a second term, and he remains popular among cashew nut farmers in the interior after raising prices for the nuts, the tiny West African country’s biggest export earner.
But he faces stiff opposition following a first five-year term marred by political infighting, regular high-level sackings, and corruption that came to a head in the run-up to Sunday’s election.
Joaquim Branco, the head of the African Union’s observer mission, said the early hours of voting had gone smoothly.
Preliminary results are expected on November 28. If there is no outright winner, a second-round between the top two candidates will take place on December 29.