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Guinea-Bissau delays polls again

Africa

Bissau - Guinea-Bissau's long-delayed legislative and presidential election, intended to draw under a 2012 military coup, has been postponed again to April 13 from March 16, according to decree signed by the West African nation's interim president.

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Guinea-Bissau's interim leader, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo. File picture: Sia Kambou

Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo's decree, read over state radio late on Saturday, said the decision was taken following consultations and requests from political parties.

The coup-prone former Portuguese colony was plunged into its latest crisis after soldiers seized power in April 2012, days before the second round of a presidential poll.

Soldiers under the command of General Antonio Injai, head of Guinea-Bissau's armed forces, toppled President Raimundo Pereira and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, days before a runoff election Gomes Junior was expected to win.

Elections intended to set it back on a democratic path have been postponed twice since November last year despite pressure from the UN Security Council and regional powers to hold the vote.

Guinea-Bissau, one of the world's poorest countries, has gained notoriety as a transit point in the smuggling of South American cocaine into Europe. UN officials say, however, that smuggling has tailed off since 2012. - Reuters

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