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Guinea-Bissau rejects amnesty for coup leaders

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September 11, 2013 08:44 AM EST | AP


BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau — Lawmakers in the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau have rejected a proposal that would have given amnesty to all the military officials involved in last year's coup.

Human rights activist Luis Vaz Martins applauded Tuesday's vote, which with 40 votes in favor fell short of the 51 needed. He said it's a clear sign that the country's citizens want an end to the coups that have long roiled Guinea-Bissau.

The latest power grab took place in April 2012, when the army arrested former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior weeks before a runoff presidential election he was expected to win.

A transitional government has been running the country until elections that are scheduled for November, though observers have warned the vote could be postponed.