2021 São Toméan presidential election

Last updated

2021 São Toméan presidential election
Flag of Sao Tome and Principe.svg
  2016 18 July 2021 (first round)
5 September 2021 (second round)
2026 
Turnout65% (second round)
  WSIS FORUM 2015 Day 2 - Carlos Vila Nova (cropped).jpg Guilherme Posser da Costa 2018 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Carlos Vila Nova Guilherme Posser da Costa
Party ADI MLSTP–PSD
Popular vote45,48133,557
Percentage57.54%42.46%

President before election

Evaristo Carvalho
ADI

Elected President

Carlos Vila Nova
ADI

Presidential elections were held in São Tomé and Príncipe on 18 July 2021. [1] As no presidential candidate received a majority of the vote, a second round was originally scheduled to be held on 8 August 2021. [2] However, following an objection to the first-round result, the second round was postponed to 29 August 2021, and later postponed again to 5 September 2021. [3] [4]

Contents

The second round was won by Carlos Vila Nova of Independent Democratic Action, who received 58% of the vote, defeating Guilherme Posser da Costa of the MLSTP–PSD. [5] Turnout for the second round was around 65%. [6]

Electoral system

The President of São Tomé and Príncipe is elected using the two-round system for a five-year term. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the first round of voting, a run-off is held with the top two candidates. [7] The role of president is largely ceremonial, with power in the hands of the prime minister. [8]

A total of 123,302 voters were registered, [9] of which 14,693 were abroad, including 7,378 in Portugal. [10]

Candidates

Incumbent president Evaristo Carvalho did not seek re-election. [1] Former prime minister Patrice Trovoada had been mentioned as a potential candidate, despite corruption allegations; [11] he also did not file as a candidate. [1]

Elsa Garrido, president of the Social Democratic Movement – Green Party announced her candidacy on 23 December 2020. [12]

In total, 19 candidates filed to run. [1] [13]

CandidatePartyNotes
Jorge AmadoIndependent (member of MLSTPPSD)
Abel Bom JesusIndependentFarmer
Miques João BonfimIndependent (member of MSD–PVSTP)
Elsa Garrido MSD–PVSTP
Roberto GarridoIndependentCivil servant
Aurélio Martins Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Victor MonteiroIndependent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Carlos Neves MDFMUDD Union
Delfim Neves Democratic Convergence Party
Maria das Neves Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Olinto das NevesIndependentFormer Director of Land Transportation
Elsa Teixeira Pinto Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Guilherme Posser da Costa MLSTP–PSD
Manuel do RosárioIndependentTeacher, farmer and ecologist
Júlio Silva Movement of Independent Citizens of São Tomé and Príncipe
Carlos StockIndependent
Eugénio TinyIndependent
Moisés ViegasIndependentInternational consultant, entrepreneur and speaker, co-founder of the NGO Núcleo Solidário de São Tomé e Príncipe. [14]
Carlos Vila Nova Independent Democratic Action

Campaign

For the first round, the campaign took place in the two weeks prior to election day. [9] Most of the candidates denounced corruption in the country. In his 12 July national holiday speech, outgoing president Evaristo Carvalho denounced the practice of "bathing" ("banho"), or buying votes, as "exploitation of the poverty of citizens. [15] [10] The Union for Progress and Change in Principe, the majority party in the Príncipe island assembly since its founding in 2006, did not support a candidate. [16]

The campaign for the second round began on 26 August and lasted ten days plus. On the first day of the campaign, Minister of Health Edgar Neves warned of the exponential increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 and that a third wave of the pandemic was beginning in the country. [17]

Conduct

According to the president of the National Electoral Commission, Fernando Maquengo, the campaign took place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. [18] The election was marked by protective measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. [9] Gatherings were forbidden and social distancing was mandatory, [9] instructions that were not always respected by the candidates. [18]

Four election observation missions were sent, from the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (including representatives from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Cameroon) [19] the United States, and Japan. [9] In a preliminary report, African Union observers praised the "peaceful and calm environment" in which the second round took place. [20]

Voting took place at 304 polling stations, [19] with 42 polling stations for overseas voters. [19]

Results

The second round was won by Carlos Vila Nova of the country's largest opposition party, Independent Democratic Action, who received 58% of the vote, defeating Guilherme Posser da Costa of the ruling MLSTP–PSD. [5] Turnout for the second round was around 65%. [6] The runoff was required after neither candidate reached 50% of the vote in the first round on 18 July, with Vila Nova receiving 39.5% and Posser da Costa 20.7%. [8]

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes%Votes%
Carlos Vila Nova Independent Democratic Action 32,02239.4745,48157.54
Guilherme Posser da Costa MLSTP–PSD 16,82920.7533,55742.46
Delfim Neves Democratic Convergence Party 13,69116.88
Abel Bom JesusIndependent2,9073.58
Maria das Neves Independent2,6963.32
Júlio Silva Movement of Independent Citizens 1.99
Victor MonteiroIndependent1.82
Moisés ViegasIndependent1.63
Carlos Neves MDFMUDD
Elsa Garrido MSD–PVSTP
Elsa Teixeira Pinto Independent
Eugénio TinyIndependent
Aurélio Martins Independent
Jorge AmadoIndependent
Manuel do RosárioIndependent
Carlos StockIndependent
Miques JoãoIndependent
Olinto das NevesIndependent
Roberto GarridoIndependent
Total79,038100.00
Valid votes81,12397.1079,03898.14
Invalid/blank votes2,4242.901,4971.86
Total votes83,547100.0080,535100.00
Registered voters/turnout123,30167.76123,30165.32
Source: STP-Press, STP-Press

Aftermath

Vila Nova said, "With the announcement of the preliminary results, I won those elections in a clear way and this result allows me to be considered as the elected President." [21]

The prime minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Jorge Bom Jesus, congratulated the President-elect, Carlos Vila Nova, on his victory in the second round of the presidential election last Sunday and said he was available for “all collaboration and loyalty”. [22]

Vila Nova was also congratulated by the Angolan president João Lourenço, [23] and the Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. [24]

Related Research Articles

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References

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