31 July 2009 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended the Government, security forces, election officials and political parties of Guinea-Bissau for this week's peaceful staging of the run-off round of presidential elections in the troubled West African country.
Guinea-Bissau's Supreme Court has announced that Malam Bacai Sanhá of the governing African Party for the Independence of Guinea was the winner of last Sunday's poll, defeating Kumba Ialá of the opposition Social Renewal Party.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was “encouraged by the positive statements made by both candidates, who pledged to respect the outcome of the elections and to work together for the national interest.”
He said the United Nations would work closely with Mr. Sanhá and his Government to try to consolidate peace and promote socio-economic development.
Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by political instability, and in March the then president João Bernardo Vieira was assassinated. Since then a presidential candidate and a former defence minister have also been killed. The country also suffers from deep poverty, a lack of infrastructure and a flourishing drug trade.
But Mr. Ban said Guinea-Bissau's National Electoral Commission, Government, security forces, political parties and people as a whole all deserved credit for their contributions towards the peaceful conduct of the elections.
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