Sao Tome votes in round two presidential election

Sao Tome and Principe

Carlos Vila Nova, one of the two candidates contesting for the presidency in Sao Tome and Principe. 

Photo credit: Arnaldo Vieira | Nation Media Group

Citizens of Sao Tome and Principe are voting Sunday to pick the country’s new leader in the second round of the presidential poll.

Carlos Vila Nova, from the Independent Democratic Action (ADI), and Guilherme Posser da Costa, from the ruling Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement (MLSTP/PSD) will contest in the poll.

There are 123,302 registered voters, with 108,609 residing in the country and 14,693 in diaspora.

A fortnight ago, the country’s parliament decided that incumbent President Evaristo Carvalho, 80, would remain in office until September 3, but on Wednesday last week, he announced that he will remain until the inauguration of the new head of state scheduled for September 29.

The president made the decision after consulting Portuguese constitutionalist Vital Moreira.

On July 18, the country held the seventh polls since independence from Portugal in 1975.

First round

In the polls saw, Nova got 32,022 votes (34 per cent) while Posser da Costa got 16,829 (20.70) per cent.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been closely following the presidential electoral process in Sao Tome and Principe and has noted that the first round was conducted peacefully, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement Friday.

“The secretary-general welcomes the signature by the two presidential candidates of a code of conduct ahead of the second round set for Sunday, and encourages all stakeholders to continue using dialogue and established legal channels to settle disputes, and refrain from any acts of violence.”

Sao Tome and Principe is a Portuguese-speaking nation, consisting of two islands.

It lies off the north-western coast of Gabon and is Africa's second least populated country after Seychelles.

Its main exports are cocoa, copra, coffee, sugar, bananas and palm oil.


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