2021 São Toméan presidential election

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]

2021 São Toméan presidential election

← 2016 18 July 2021 (first round)
5 September 2021 (second round)
2026 →
Turnout65% (second round)
Nominee Carlos Vila Nova Guilherme Posser da Costa
Popular vote 45,481 33,557
Percentage 57.54% 42.46%

President before election

Evaristo Carvalho

Elected President

Carlos Vila Nova

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 edit

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 edit

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]

Candidate Party Notes
Jorge Amado Independent (member of MLSTPPSD)
Abel Bom Jesus Independent Farmer
Miques João Bonfim Independent (member of MSD–PVSTP)
Elsa Garrido MSD–PVSTP
Roberto Garrido Independent Civil servant
Aurélio Martins Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Victor Monteiro Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Carlos Neves MDFMUDD Union
Delfim Neves Democratic Convergence Party
Maria das Neves Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Olinto das Neves Independent Former Director of Land Transportation
Elsa Teixeira Pinto Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)
Guilherme Posser da Costa MLSTP–PSD
Manuel do Rosário Independent Teacher, farmer and ecologist
Júlio Silva Movement of Independent Citizens of São Tomé and Príncipe
Carlos Stock Independent
Eugénio Tiny Independent
Moisés Viegas Independent International consultant, entrepreneur and speaker, co-founder of the NGO Núcleo Solidário de São Tomé e Príncipe.[14]
Carlos Vila Nova Independent Democratic Action

Campaign edit

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 second round was delayed while the courts considered a petition filed by third-place candidate Delfim Neves alleging fraud in the first round, which was ultimately rejected.[17] 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.[18]

Conduct edit

According to the president of the National Electoral Commission, Fernando Maquengo, the campaign took place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.[19] 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.[19]

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)[20] 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.[21]

Voting took place at 304 polling stations,[20] with 42 polling stations for overseas voters.[20]

Results edit

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
Carlos Vila NovaIndependent Democratic Action32,02239.4745,48157.54
Guilherme Posser da CostaMLSTP–PSD16,82920.7533,55742.46
Delfim NevesDemocratic Convergence Party13,69116.88
Abel Bom JesusIndependent2,9073.58
Maria das NevesIndependent2,6963.32
Júlio SilvaMovement of Independent Citizens1.99
Victor MonteiroIndependent1.82
Moisés ViegasIndependent1.63
Carlos NevesMDFMUDD
Elsa GarridoMSD–PVSTP
Elsa Teixeira PintoIndependent
Eugénio TinyIndependent
Aurélio MartinsIndependent
Jorge AmadoIndependent
Manuel do RosárioIndependent
Carlos StockIndependent
Miques JoãoIndependent
Olinto das NevesIndependent
Roberto GarridoIndependent
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 edit

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."[22]

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”.[23]

Vila Nova was also congratulated by the Angolan president João Lourenço,[24] and the Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.[25]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Carlos, Maximino (12 June 2021). "Mais de uma dezena de candidatos às eleições presidenciais sãotomenses". RFI (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  2. ^ Musambi, Evelyne; Rukanga, Basillioh (19 July 2021). "Africa Live: Sao Tome presidential election heads for a runoff". BBC News. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  3. ^ "São Tomé-et-Principe: le second tour de l'élection présidentielle repoussé au 29 août". RFI (in French). 7 August 2021. Archived from the original on 7 August 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Le second tour de la présidentielle à Sao Tomé-et-Principe de nouveau repoussé". VOA (in French). Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b São Tomé: Carlos Vila Nova vence presidenciais com 57,54% dos votos Observador, 6 September 2021
  6. ^ a b AfricaNews. "Opposition candidate Carlos Vila Nova wins Sao Tome presidency: partial results". Africanews. Archived from the original on 6 September 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Country Profile: Sao Tome and Principe". IFES Election Guide. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Sao Tome holds postponed presidential election". The Guardian (Nigeria). 5 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e Graça, Ramusel (16 July 2021). "19 candidatos disputam presidenciais mais concorridas de sempre em São Tomé". Deutsche Welle.
  10. ^ a b "Eleições em São Tomé e Príncipe. Termina esta sexta-feira campanha de 19 candidatos às presidenciais". Observador. 16 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Elections in Africa in 2021". Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  12. ^ Neto, Ricardo (23 December 2020). "Elsa Garrido, líder do Partido Verde anuncia candidatura as eleições presidenciais de 2021". STP-PRESS (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  13. ^ Abel Veiga (11 June 2021). "Corte Constitucional confirmou 19 candidatos para as eleições presidenciais". Téla Nón (in Portuguese). Retrieved 12 June 2021..
  14. ^ Fernanda Costa Alegre (8 November 2019). "Jovem são-tomense no simpósio diplomático de Maputo depois do brilharete na Cimeira USA-África". STP-Press (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 May 2021..
  15. ^ "Présidentielle à Sao Tomé-et-Principe: les habitants appelés aux urnes". Radio France Internationale. 18 July 2021.
  16. ^ Dênde, Manuel (13 June 2021). "UMPP dá liberdade de voto aos seus militantes nas próximas Eleições Presidenciais". Agência STP-Press.
  17. ^ "Opposition candidate wins Sao Tome presidency". Daily Monitor. 7 September 2021.
  18. ^ Medeiros, Óscar (26 August 2021). "Arranca a campanha eleitoral para a segunda volta das Presidenciais em São Tomé e Príncipe". Voice of America in Portuguese.
  19. ^ a b "Fin de la campagne électorale à Sao Tomé-et-Principe: la corruption dénoncée à tous les niveaux". Radio France Internationale. 17 July 2021.
  20. ^ a b c "São Tomé. Comissão Eleitoral garante reforço policial para evitar incidentes na divulgação de resultados". Observador. 17 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Sao Tome: African Union observers hail 'peaceful, calm' presidential elections". macaubusiness.com. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  22. ^ "ADVERTISEMENT The East AfricanRest Of Africa Opposition's Carlos Vila Nova becomes Sao Tome's new President". The East African. 7 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Sao Tome: PM congratulates president-elect, promises collaboration". Macau Business. 9 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Angolan President Congratulates São Tomé & Príncipe President-Elect". Angola Press Agence/allafrica.com. 7 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Marcelo saúda Presidente eleito de São Tomé e tenciona estar na sua tomada de posse". Observador. 6 September 2021.