The outgoing president of Guinea-Bissau José Mario Vaz ended Tuesday in tears his New Year speech, on the eve of the announcement of the winner of the presidential election, calling on the political class to maintain civil peace and restore stability in this West African country with a tumultuous history.
« We will write a new page in the history of our democracy on the day of the inauguration ceremony of the new President of the Republic by transferring the presidential banner, an unprecedented fact », 46 years after independence, said the president Vaz, elected in 2014, first head of state since the establishment of the multiparty system to complete his term without being dismissed or murdered.
In tears at the end of his speech, he called for “calm pending the final results” of the second round of presidential elections on Sunday, which are to be announced on Wednesday by the National Election Commission (CNE).
Mr. Vaz, whose five-year term was marked by an incessant standoff with his former party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), only finished » in fourth position during the first round at the end of November.
He supported the second round to a PAIGC dissident, Umaru Sissoco Embalo, opposed to the PAIGC leader, Domingos Simoes Pereira.
In his televised speech, Mr. Vaz praised the restraint of the army during the five turbulent years of its mandate, which “managed to keep (the) calm in the barracks and to drive away the soldiers”, in a country which knew four coups and fifteen attempted coup attempts since independence from Portugal.
“Neither widow nor orphan”
The outgoing president assured bequeathing to “generations” to future generations a “new era of freedom” conquered under his mandate, where freedom of expression and of the press were guaranteed and where political rivalries caused “neither widow , or orphan ”.
He called for good governance in a country among the poorest in the world where the political elite is reputed to be corrupt and the military involved in cocaine trafficking.
« This struggle for the collective appropriation of the common good cannot collapse. So I ask our young people to get involved in this fight against corruption, « he said. He castigated the shortcomings “rooted” in society, questioning “the small elite who want to win everything for them, forgetting those who work”.
In a country whose semi-presidential regime favors conflicts between the head of state and parliament, Mr. Vaz pleaded for “a constitutional reform which will allow the elimination of the sources of institutional instability and the clarification of the system of government to avoid future political crises ”.