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Ousted G.Bissau ex-premier eyes return for presidential polls

Guinea Bissau’s former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who was ousted in a coup last year, on Thursday said he planned to return to his country and run for president in November polls.

Gomes Junior, 63, who has been living in exile in Portugal, did not specify when he intended to go back.

“I will win the election,” he told reporters in Lisbon. “We are creating the conditions for my return.”

The impoverished West African nation is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on November 24.

The polls are aimed at ending the transitional phase that began when Gomes Junior was overthrown in April 2012 in a coup that interrupted a presidential race he was leading with 49 percent of the vote.

“This time I will win the elections not with 49 percent of the vote but with 80 percent,” he said.

He also called for “fundamental freedoms” to be respected ahead of the polls, including a free press and the right to demonstrate.

No president has ever completed a full term in office in Guinea Bissau, which has suffered chronic instability since independence from Portugal in 1974 due to conflict between the army and state.