São Tomé and Príncipe: Presidential Race Narrows to Two

(file photo).

The Presidential race in Sao Tome and Principe will head into a run-off after the two main contenders failed to garner enough votes.

Carlos Vila Nova and Guilherme Posser da Costa will contest in the Sao Tome and Principe run-off of the presidential polls in August 8, the country's National Electoral Commission (CEN) announced Monday.

Nova, who was supported by the main opposition party, ADI (Independent Democratic Action) and da Costa by the ruling MLSTP/ PSD (Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Príncipe - Social Democratic Party) were among the 19 candidates for the presidential polls Sunday. One of them will be the country's fifth president.

Incumbent Evaristo Carvalho,80, opted out running for the second term in office.

In a short press briefing, without questions from journalists, CEN head Fernando Maquengo announced provisional results of each of the 19 candidates and made it clear that no one reached an absolute majority Sunday.

Carlos Vila Nova got 32,022 votes corresponding to 39.47 percent of the total valid votes while Guilherme Posser da Costa, got 16,829 corresponding to 20.70 percent

Neves is current the country's parliament Speaker.

According to CEN, abstention was 32, 24 percent, in a total of just over 123,000 voters in the country and in the diaspora.

The Sunday elections were the seventh poll since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

According to CEN, 123, 302 voters were registered to cast their ballots in 262 polling stations across the Portuguese-speaking archipelago of 200,000 inhabitants.

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