General News of 2014-05-17

Guinea-Bissau elections must be peaceful – Mahama

President John Mahama has pledged his support to the people of Guinea-Bissau as they prepare to participate in the second round of elections to choose their next president.
The president, who doubles as Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made this promise on behalf of ECOWAS member states and governments.
In a statement, President Mahama urged the various stakeholders and all responsible officials, especially the Military Services of Guinea-Bissau, to ensure the run-off election “is conducted and concluded in the same peaceful, free and fair manner as the first round.”
“We call especially on the Electoral Commission to do everything in its power to ensure the integrity and credibility of the electoral process,” he added.
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OF ECOWAS AUTHORITY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ON UPCOMING SECOND ROUND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN GUINEA-BISSAU
On behalf of the Authority of Heads of State & Government of our Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and in my capacity as Chair of the Authority, I would like to extend our best wishes, solidarity and support to the people of Guinea-Bissau as they prepare to participate in the second round of elections this weekend to choose the next President of their nation.
We renew our congratulations to people of Guinea-Bissau for the free, fair, and peaceful manner in which the first round of the electoral contest was held on 13th April 2014.
As the electoral regulations stipulated a second round became necessary because there was no outright winner of the first round.
We call on the various stakeholders and all responsible officials, especially the
Military Services of Guinea-Bissau, to ensure that this run-off election is conducted and concluded in the same peaceful, free and fair manner as the first round.
We call especially on the Electoral Commission to do everything in its power to ensure the integrity and credibility of the electoral process.
ECOWAS is committed to working with the next democratically elected President to return Guinea-Bissau to peace, security, democracy and prosperity. The election that will take place on Sunday, 18th May 2014, is an important part of this process.
We urge all sections of Guinea-Bissau society, all stakeholders and friends of Guinea-Bissau to do everything possible to ensure that the country is steered onto a new and sustainable path, through a credible second round presidential run-off, so that the people of Guinea-Bissau can be the ultimate winners.
H. E. John Dramani Mahama
President of the Republic of Ghana