São Tome and Principe goes to the polls
There are 92,760 eligible voters who will be voting in the São Tome and Principe general election today across 263 polling stations. They will be electing the 55 members of the National Assembly and councillors to six municipalities, along with the seven deputies to the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Principe.
In 2010 the centrist Independent Democratic Action (ADI) won 26 seats (+15) and the centre-left Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD) won 21 seats (+1).
The Democratic Convergence Party-Reflection Group came third with seven seats (+7) and the Force for Change Democratic Movement-Liberal Party (MDFM-PL) dropped 22 seats and won just one seat in the new parliament.
In this election there are 12 parties competing with the ADI expected to gain around 50% of the vote according to the latest opinion polls conducted in late September. The MLSTP-PSD is in second place on 20.1% of the vote according to the poll.
There are two new political parties on the scene, the Party of Social Stability and Progress (PEPS) and the National Democratic Platform (NDP).
Patrice Trovoada, leader of the Independent Democratic Action (ADI), returned to the country after two years away in Portugal on 3rd October. He had been the Prime Minister in 2008 and again between August 2010 and December 2012, but on both occasions had been ousted by a censure motion. The opinion polls suggest that he has around 57% support to be the Prime Minister once more.