BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, April 10 (UPI) -- The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on April 13, the first elections since a 2012 coup deposed interim President Raimundo Pereira.
Three candidates are running for president. Former Finance Minister Jose Mario Vaz from the PAIGC, businessman and former Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Abel Incada from the PRS, and independent Nazare de Pina Vieira, widow of former President Joao Bernardo Vieira.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wished Guinea-Bissau well in its elections.
"The upcoming elections in Guinea-Bissau are an important step toward building a more stable, prosperous, democratic future for the Bissau-Guinean people. As the people of Guinea-Bissau go to the polls on April 13, we call on Bissau-Guinean authorities to create an environment that allows its citizens to express their will in peaceful, credible elections. At the same time, we encourage voters to participate fully in the democratic process and to make their voices heard peacefully. The United States remains a long-standing friend of the Bissau-Guinean people. We look forward to working with Guinea-Bissau as it seeks to return to democratic rule and to achieve lasting peace in the region."
Under Guinea-Bissau's electoral system, the president will be elected by absolute majority and will serve a five-year term. Parliamentary members are elected from 27 multi-member constituencies and serve terms of four years.