GuineaBissau Security Council expresses concern over delayed electoral process

The Council’s President for August, Ambassador Michail Wehbe of Syria, said in a statement that the 15-member body “commended President Koumba Yalá and encouraged him and his government to continue working towards the holding of the legislative elections in a transparent, fair and credible manner.” Speaking after a briefing by David Stephen, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s envoy to Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador Wehbe said the Council had been updated on developments since it sent a delegation to the country in late June. “Members of the Security Council welcomed the progress made since the joint visit of the Security Council and ECOSOC [UN Economic and Social Council], especially the announcement by the President of the date of 12 October 2003 for the parliamentary elections, which constitute an important factor for the stability of the country,” he said.Noting that Guinea-Bissau’s electoral commission has invited the international community to send observers to the voting, Council members appealed to organizations to respond positively to that request. They also commended those who pledged the resources necessary to organize the elections. The Council further expressed concern at the serious economic situation in the country and appealed to the international community to continue to provide assistance for the sustainable development of Guinea-Bissau. read more