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Sao Tome and Principe second round presidential elections

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Sao Tome and Principe second round presidential elections

sao tome principe
Photo: GCIS

Second-round voting in the twice-postponed presidential elections in the West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe (STP) will be held today.

Carlos Vila Nova of the centre-right Independent Democratic Action (ADI) led first-round voting with 43.3% of the vote while runner-up, Guilherme Posser da Costa of the centre-left MLSTP-PSD won 20.7%.  Today’s voting was delayed following court action by third-ranked Delfim das Neves, whose election petition alleging fraud was rejected by the Constitutional Courts.

ADI’s Vila Nova is favourite to win the presidency if he retains his first-round votes. A Vila Nova win in STP’s semi-presidential system means working with a National Assembly currently controlled by an MLSTP-PSD-led coalition. Given this reality, Vila Nova has promised cooperation with parliament on common-cause issues like combating the Covid-19 pandemic. However, next year’s parliamentary elections may swing the Assembly back in favour of ADI—which currently holds a plurality in parliament.

Cooperation between Vila Nova and parliament is likely. However, MLSTP-PSD’s desire to investigate exiled former ADI Prime Minister and close Vila Nova confidante, Patrice Trovoada, for corruption and treason will cause friction. Any investigation will almost certainly be dropped should ADI win back the Assembly next year.

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Photo: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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