Guinea-Bissau postpones election until 2014

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2013 1:36 PM
Guinea-Bissau postpones election until 2014

BISSAU (Reuters) - Guinea-Bissau will postpone an election planned for November until early next year due to a lack of funds, officials said on Friday.

The election is supposed to return the West African country to democracy after a military coup last year and Western and regional powers and the United Nations had all urged it to hold the vote before year end.

"There is now sufficient funding to hold general elections," interim President Manuel Sherifo Nhamadjo said. He had previously indicated that the vote would take place on November 24.

The U.N. special representative to the country, Jose Ramos-Horta, said that $20 million had been raised for the election, adding that he now expected it to happen in February or March.

"We have to first of all proceed with voter registration and after that, the general elections could be held," said Augusto Mendes, president of Guinea Bissau's electoral commission.

"This will probably be sometime in the first quarter of 2014," Mendes told Reuters.

The coup-prone former Portuguese colony is notorious as a trafficking hub for narcotics from South America to Europe.

(This story has been refiled to remove repeated word "election" in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)