The incumbent president of Guinea-Bissau Jose Mario Vaz votes at a polling station near the presidential palace in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Dec. 29, 2019. Guinea-Bissau's presidential election runoff kicked off here on Sunday between two former prime ministers, Domingos Simoes Pereira and Umaro Sissoco Embalo. (Xinhua/Xing Jianqiao)
The incumbent president of Guinea-Bissau Jose Mario Vaz votes at a polling station near the presidential palace in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Dec. 29, 2019. Guinea-Bissau's presidential election runoff kicked off here on Sunday between two former prime ministers, Domingos Simoes Pereira and Umaro Sissoco Embalo. (Xinhua/Xing Jianqiao)

Originally scheduled for March 1, Guinea’s double ballot for the legislative election and the constitutional referendum has been postponed for two weeks, President Alpha Conde has announced.

The president said that the decision took into account national and international concerns about peace and social tranquility in his country. Conde said that he had recently sent a letter to Mahamadou Issoufou, president of Niger and serving chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Guinean president stressed in this letter that Guinea should not be excluded from ECOWAS and the African Union.

“I know that many of you will be dissatisfied and disappointed. But, Guinea, being part of pan-Africanism, can it isolate itself from its brother countries?” Conde said Friday night in a televised speech, adding that “it is with this responsibility and the Pan-African and Guinean spirit that I accepted this postponement, it belongs to the responsibility of a head of state to defend the interests of his country, and also the interests of the sub-region and Africa.”

The Guinean president clarified that only those political parties qualified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) are concerned in this postponement. In total, 43 Guinean opposition political parties had registered for legislative election and constitutional referendum.Claiming the lack of transparency and serenity, the main opposition parties, in particular the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) and the Union of Republican Forces (UFR), the country’s second and third political forces, and several others have decided to boycott these elections.

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