Guinea-Bissau presidential candidate Embalo claims election win: campaign


BISSAU (Reuters) – Former army general and Prime Minister Umaro Cissoko Embalo is on course to win Guinea Bissau’s presidential election, his spokesman said on Monday, a result that if confirmed would mark an upset victory over the ruling party’s candidate.

Official results are not expected until Jan. 1 and the electoral commission has not commented on the vote count. The camp of Embalo’s opponent, Domingos Simoes Pereira, did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Embalo campaign spokesman Djibril Balde said the victory claim was based on campaign tallies of preliminary results its observers had compiled in each region and that Pereira had earlier called Embalo to congratulate him on his win.

Embalo, 47, came second in last month’s first round vote with 28% versus 40% for Pereira. Ahead of Sunday’s run-off, he won the backing of incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz, who was eliminated in the first round with 12%.

Vaz’s five-year term was marred by regular political sackings, an ill-functioning parliament and high-level corruption, and voters said they hoped the next president would restore calm to the turbulent West African nation.

Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Edward McAllister