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18 Feb 2019 | 01:44 AM UTC

Guinea-Bissau: Political campaigns begin ahead of March 10 elections /update 5

March 10 election campaigns begin in Guinea-Bissau on February 16; political demonstrations possible across the country in coming weeks

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Event

Guinea-Bissau began its political campaign season on Saturday, February 16, ahead of legislative elections on Sunday, March 10. A total of 21 political parties are running for 102 seats in the National Assembly. Campaign processions were reported over the weekend in Bafatá and Gabu. Other political rallies, convoys, and demonstrations are likely in the coming weeks until Friday, March 8, as parties prepare for the elections. Localized disruptions and a heightened security presence are possible in the vicinity of any campaign events.

Context

Guinea-Bissau has experienced a period of political uncertainty since August 2015, when President José Mario Vaz dismissed Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, leader of the president's own African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Vaz and his government have since suffered increasing unpopularity. Elections previously scheduled for December 2018 but were postponed on December 16, 20198.

Advice

Individuals in Guinea-Bissau are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate public demonstrations and associated disruptions, and avoid all political events as a precaution.

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