BISSAU (Reuters) – Voters in Guinea-Bissau began casting ballots on Sunday in a run-off presidential election pitting two former prime ministers who both promise to bring stability to the turbulent West African nation. Incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz failed to make it to the second round after a five-year term marred by regular high-level sackings, a barely functioning parliament and weeks of turmoil in the run-up to the first-round ballot. Both candidates in Sunday’s showdown have said that if elected they will work to overcome a long-running political impasse and modernize the country of 1.6 million people, which has suffered nine coups or attempted coups since independence from Portugal in 1974. The ruling PAIGC party’s Domingos Simoes Pereira, 56, is seen as the front-runner after winning the first round on Nov. 24 with 40%. His opponent, Umaro Cissoko Embalo, 47, came second with 28% despite being a relative political newcomer, and political analysts say the run-off race could be close. “Pereira has a slight advantage over his rival,” said analyst Fode Mane, who is also rector of Amilcar Cabral University in the capital, Bissau. Embalo’s candidacy has won support from the main contenders who failed to reach the run-off, including… Read full this story
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