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Guinea-Bissau's president urges participation in electoral census
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20:32, July 22, 2008

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President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira of Guinea-Bissau has called on his fellow compatriots to register massively during the country's ongoing voter recruitment exercise, according to information reaching Dhaka.

The head of state, who was speaking in the capital Bissau Monday, was quoted as saying that "failure to vote deprives the citizens of their democratic right to choose leaders who will be entrusted with the destiny of the country," the Pan-African News Agency (PANA) reported Monday.

"All Bissau-Guineans with the age to vote must take part in the exercise, which constitutes an act of good citizenship," said President Vieira in an address that was broadcast across the nation.

The head of state, who was speaking on the necessity of the voter registration drive, further said that the census period, which in principle is scheduled to end on July 23, "could be extended in order to allow everyone to register as a voter."

Since July 3, the tiny West African nation has embarked on an electoral census that is expected to net thousands of new voters across the country, according to reliable sources.

So far, the voter registration exercise, according to the Dakar-based PANA, has not managed to attract many people to register as voters as many potential recruits have vowed to stay away from polling stations in forthcoming elections.

The masses, according to analysts and observers, are notably discouraged by the disastrous management of public affairs by successive governments that have been elected so far to lead the tiny nation.


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