Umaro Sissoco Embaló has won the presidential election in the West African nation of Guinea Bissau and will replace outgoing President José Mário Vaz, according to official results released Wednesday by the National Election Commission.
Embaló, the Movement for Alternative Democracy (MADEM G-15) candidate, received 53.6 percent of the vote, edging out African Independence Party of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) candidate Domingos Simões Pereira.
Pereira received 46.5 percent of votes cast in the second-round runoff election held on Sunday. It followed a November 24 election in which Vaz, in power since 2014, was eliminated and subsequently backed Embaló rather than Pereira.
The winner said Pereira had conceded and offered his congratulations ahead of the final count, though Pereira had urged his supporters and the nation to wait for official results. “There is a lot of fake news circulating, but only official numbers can be respected,” he said.
Both men have previously served as prime ministers under Vaz, though his split with Pereira – one of several with PMs during his tenure – led to bitter cleavages within the PAIGC party itself.
Although voting was by all accounts peaceful, political tensions in Guinea Bissau have simmered into street violence in the past, and as recently as October because of the instability under the Vaz administration.
Image: Úmaro Sissoco Embaló