UN human rights chief calls for fair Guinea-Bissau presidential election Jamie Davis at 9:11 AM ET
[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] urged the people of Guinea-Bissau [JURIST news archive] Friday to ensure that the country's upcoming presidential election is free and fair and warned that any violence during the election would be a violation of human rights. The presidential election, to be held on Sunday, comes after Guinea-Bissau's former president Malam Bacai Sanha died in January. Pillay's concerns for a fair election [UN News Centre report] stem from the country's history [BBC news archive] of being ridden with coups and unruliness after breaking away from Portugal and gaining independence in 1974. Pillay also applauded the people in Guniea-Bissau for their peaceful participation is the election process so far. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also issued a statement [text] calling on the country to maintain order during the elections. Nine people are reportedly candidates for the presidency.
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