Guinea-Bissau postpones elections again to April

BISSAU Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:34am EST

Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, Interim President of Guinea-Bissau, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Justin Lane/Pool

Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, Interim President of Guinea-Bissau, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Justin Lane/Pool

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BISSAU (Reuters) - 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.

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 U.N. 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. U.N. officials say, however, that smuggling has tailed off since 2012.

(Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alison Williams)

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