Two Guinea Bissau Candidates to Face Off in Runoff, Reuters Says

The top two candidates in Guinea Bissau’s April 13 presidential elections, the nation’s first since a 2012 coup, will face off in a runoff next month after neither had enough votes to win outright, Reuters reported.

Former Finance Minister Jose Mario Vaz won 40.99 percent of the vote and Nuno Gomes Nabiam garnered 25.14 percent, Reuters said yesterday, citing election commission figures. The runoff is scheduled for May 18. There were 13 presidential candidates and 15 parties vying for 102 seats in Parliament.

The elections put Africa’s second-largest cashew nut producer a step closer to receiving aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, donors who suspended funds in 2012. The West African nation has had three coups and the assassination of President Joao Bernardo Vieira in 2009. Since 1994, no elected president has finished his term.

The economy, which depends on cashew nut exports and donor funding, probably expanded 0.3 percent last year after contracting 1.5 percent in 2012, according to the IMF. Political instability has created an environment that allows traffickers to ship drugs headed for Europe through Guinea Bissau, according to the United Nations.

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