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Sao Tome president bows out of runoff vote

São Tomé and Príncipe

The president of west African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe has bowed out of the second round of the presidential elections slated for next Sunday.

President Manuel Pinto da Costa’s challenge was unsuccessful in the first round of voting on July 17, after he came second to former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho.

He called for the process to be scrapped, saying there had been electoral fraud, but his bid was rejected by the court.

Carvalho, the candidate of the ruling Independent Democratic Action party, had initially been credited with a 50.2 percent in the first round, but election officials revised the score after taking into account ballots cast by voters in the diaspora and delayed balloting in one district.

The first round turnout was 64 percent of the electorate, in a country of around 200,000 people.

The Atlantic archipelago is Africa’s second smallest state.

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