The losing candidate in a run-off election for Guinea-Bissau’s presidency, Nuno Gomes Nabiam, said on Thursday he accepted the results after initially rejecting them citing alleged fraud.
Nabiam’s concession to election winner Jose Mario Vaz could ease tensions in the coup-prone West African nation that has been in turmoil since a 2012 military takeover. A successful conclusion of the vote would also offer the country a fresh start and renewed cooperation with donors after decades of instability since independence from Portugal. “For the sake of peace and stability, I accept the results published by the electoral commission,” Nabiam told a news conference in the capital Bissau.
Electoral commission results on Tuesday showed Vaz, a former finance minister and candidate for the dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), won Sunday’s election with 61.9 percent of the vote to Nabiam’s 38.1 percent.
Although he ran as an independent candidate, Nabiam, who comes from the Balanta ethnic group, which is the country’s largest, was seen as close to Bissau’s army which has always meddled in the country’s politics.
Guinea-Bissau’s last election in 2012 was abandoned after soldiers under General Indjai stormed the presidential palace just days before another PAIGC candidate, Carlos Gomes Junior, appeared poised for victory in a scheduled run-off.