UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Security Council on Monday asked Guinea-Bissau to hold the presidential poll on Nov. 24 as scheduled.
"The Security Council seizes the opportunity to draw the attention of political actors in Guinea-Bissau to the urgent need to hold the presidential elections on Nov. 24, 2019 as agreed, in order to conclude the electoral cycle to allow for a peaceful transition of power to an elected president," said the council in a presidential statement.
The Security Council asked political actors in Guinea-Bissau to continue their efforts to preserve the gains of the political and electoral process, it said.
It welcomed that the defense and security forces of Guinea-Bissau are maintaining strict neutrality and avoiding interference in the political arena and urged them to continue doing so throughout and beyond the electoral and political process.
The Security Council reminded all actors that the council's possible reconsideration of the existing sanctions regime will depend on their orderly conduct as well as that of other political actors. It also reminded all stakeholders that it will consider taking appropriate measures against those who undermine stability in the country in accordance with Security Council resolutions on Guinea-Bissau.
The presidential statement came after Security Council consultations on Guinea-Bissau on Thursday following Guinea-Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz's dismissal of the government led by Prime Minister Aristides Gomes.
Gomes rejected the decision and branded it illegal.
Vaz's presidential term ended on June 23. The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed on June 29 that Vaz should stay as president until the Nov. 24 presidential election, though the country should be run by the Gomes government. On Oct. 29, ECOWAS called Vaz's dismissal of the Gomes government "illegal."
In its presidential statement, the Security Council expressed deep concern over the social and political situation and called on President Vaz and the government of Gomes to resolve their differences in the spirit of respect and cooperation.
The Security Council called on all actors in Guinea-Bissau to fully respect the ECOWAS leaders' decision of June 29.
The Security Council condemned the recent violence that resulted in the death of one civilian. The council welcomed the decision by the government to launch an independent investigation into the matter and looked forward to its outcome, said the statement.
"The Security Council urges the political actors of Guinea-Bissau to show utmost restraint, refrain from all forms of violence or incitement to hatred, and to resort to dialogue as the only means of resolving their differences and preserving peace and stability in the country."
The Security Council encouraged the political actors in Guinea-Bissau to take all appropriate measures to ensure the smooth functioning and stability of state institutions in accordance with the country's constitution and the principles of good governance, and to refrain from any actions that could provoke a relapse into political and institutional crisis.
Guinea-Bissau has been mired in constant political instability since 2015, when Vaz dismissed then Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, his main political rival.