A staff member calls out names on ballots at a polling station in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, Nov. 24, 2019. The presidential election voting in Guinea-Bissau is continuing in calm with a massive turnout, Guinea-Bissau's National Election Commission (NEC) announced Sunday early afternoon. (Xinhua/Xing Jianqiao)
BISSAU, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The presidential election voting in Guinea-Bissau is continuing in calm with a massive turnout, Guinea-Bissau's National Election Commission (NEC) announced Sunday early afternoon.
Also, the head of the African Union observation mission, Joaquim Rafael Branco, confirmed this observation and praised the civism of Guinea-Bissau's voters.
Long queues of voters were visible in front of all the polling stations in Bissau, according to Xinhua correspondents in the field, except that few polling stations were opened later than scheduled.
"We want a president who can promote peace and stability," Bissau-Guinean filmmaker Flora Gomes told Xinhua after voting in Bissau.
One of the favorites of the election, former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, candidate supported by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), called on voters to "vote massively" in a speech addressed after voting near his residence.
Incumbent president and independent candidate Jose Mario Vaz voted in a polling station near the Presidential Palace in Bissau. He called on voters to go massively to the polling stations to exercise their right to vote.
He also made a satisfactory assessment of his five-year term in front of national and international press, and promised to respect the results of this election.
"I am a democrat, and as in the past, I accept to recognize the outcome of this election," said Vaz.
According to the electoral law in Guinea-Bissau, the 3,139 polling stations are slated to be closed at 5 pm (local time and GMT).
More than 200 observers from the African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the ECOWAS and etc., and 422 observers from civil society are following the process of the voting very closely.
If no one receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round, a run-off is scheduled for Dec. 29.
The Bissau-Guinean presidential election should allow Guinea-Bissau to end its ongoing political crisis and institutional instability that burst in 2015 between President Vaz who dissolved the then government led by Domingos Simoes Pereira, his main political rival.