March 22, 2023

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Legislature in Sao Tome: Opposition wins but majority assured

#In other countries : The center-right opposition party won legislative elections in Sao Tome and Principe on Sunday, the electoral commission announced Tuesday, but the distribution of seats that will determine whether or not the center-left coalition will give up power was not given.

Located in the Gulf of Guinea in central Africa, this small, extremely poor archipelago, accustomed to alternating power, is considered the continent’s model of parliamentary democracy.

Action for Democratic Independence (ADI, right), the main opposition party in the outgoing National Assembly, “won the legislative elections with a total of 36,549 votes,” the National Elections Commission (CEN) said Thursday, citing government news agency STP. – Press. Prime Minister Jorge Bohm Jesus’ “Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe-Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD, center left)” came second with 25,531 votes, according to CEN.

During this proportional voting, 34.33% did not vote.

The never-before-seen Constitutional Court on Tuesday evening will apportion the 55 seats of the unitary parliament and determine whether a coalition government will form.

>>> Read More: Sao Tome and Principe: Voting begins for legislative elections

In statements to STP-press, the head of ADI, former Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada (2010-2012 and 2014-2018) confirmed that the MLSTP-PSD is immediately assured that his party will win an absolute majority with 30 seats. competed. With a firm mandate of 22 to 24, according to him, the movement promises that he can count on an additional 8 to 9 seats from the two smaller parties known as the Left or Center Left to retain the majority.

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The MLSTP and ADI have competed for leadership of the country since independence from Portugal in 1975, at least until 1991, when a Marxist São Dom opened the country to a single-party, multi-party system.

The MLSTP put together a coalition in 2018 to narrowly defeat Patrice Trovoda’s ATI for a seat in parliament, but the left appeared disjointed on Sunday’s ballot.

>>> Read More: Gabon: Sao Tome and Principe President in Libreville to boost bilateral ties

A majority of the ADI winning the presidential elections in 2021 would put an end to coexistence at the top of the state, even if the president – ADI Carlos Vila Nova – only holds an honorary job.

Apart from some deficiencies in the record-keeping of some offices, the EU election monitoring mission on Tuesday hailed “voting and counting operations (…) as satisfactory with good transparency”.

Sao Tome and Principe is approximately 90% dependent on international cooperation and assistance for its infrastructure investments and imports of finished goods.