Election Preparations in Guinea-Bissau
The United States urges the Government of Guinea-Bissau to adhere to the stated calendar for preparations for March 16, 2014 elections, including a credible and timely voter registration process. This echoes the President of the United Nations Security Council December 9 statement. We urge President Nhamadjo, Prime Minister Barros, Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman Mendes, and Technical Office for Assistance to the Electoral Process Director Na Bitan to ensure that there are no further delays in the election schedule and that timely registration occurs.
Authorities must also urgently improve security conditions and address impunity in order to provide a safe, peaceful environment for both voters and candidates. We expect the Ministers of Interior and Defense, and the Armed Forces Chief of Staff to ensure that security services respect rule of law, civilian authority, and human rights. Security services should cooperate fully with the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau and the Mission of the Economic Community of West African States.
The successful and timely conduct of these elections is a critical component of progress towards of national reconciliation, democratic governance, and economic reforms.