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Sao Tome legislatives: Ruling ADI party loses absolute majority

São Tomé and Príncipe

Sao Tome and Principe’s ruling party lost an absolute majority in the country’s National Assembly, after the small archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea held parliamentary and local elections on Sunday, according to provisional results.

The center-right Independent Democratic Action (ADI) party which has been in power since 2014, won the legislative elections, but with only 25 of the 55 seats in the Assembly – against 33 previously – according to provisional results released on Monday by the country’s National Electoral Commission.

The ADI plans to join the Sao Tome and Principe Independent Citizen Movement party (MCISTP), which won two seats, but still that will not be enough to ensure a majority.

The Socialist opposition party, the Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement – Social Democrat Party (MLSTP-PSD), won 23 seats and plans a coalition with five MPs from a coalition of other small opposition parties.

The final results will be announced in the coming days by the Constitutional Court.

On Sunday, some 90,000 voters in the archipelago of 200,000 inhabitants turned out for the polls.

On Monday evening, hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Sao Tome Electoral Commission offices alleging fraud in favor of the ADI.

Judge Natacha Amado Vaz’s car was burned down and riot police intervened to disperse the protesters.

Sao Tome and Principe is considered a model of democratic alternation in Central Africa. The country, which lives off cocoa and coffee and is 90% dependent on international aid, opened up to multiparty politics in 1991, after fifteen years of Marxist and one-party rule by President Manuel Pinto da Costa, who led the country since its independence from Portugal in 1975.

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