The second round of the presidential election in Sao Tome and Principe postponed again ~ #REUTERS:

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The second round of the presidential election in Sao Tome and Principe, a small archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea, was postponed a second time to September 5, after a vote in parliament, we learned on Wednesday.

The electoral commission had already postponed the vote to August 29, when it was originally scheduled to take place on August 8, following an appeal filed by one of the candidates.

Outgoing president Evaristo Carvalho is not seeking a new term. But he will still have to stay in office to avoid a vacuum at the head of state. This is the first time in the country’s history that the president has been forced to stay in office beyond his term of office.

Last week, hospital sources told VOA’s Portuguese-language service that the president had been hospitalized in a structure in the square. He was released on Monday after undergoing hernia surgery.

Carlos Vila Nova, of the main opposition party, the Independent Democratic Action (ADI, center-right), won the first round on July 18 with 43.3% of the vote, and will face Guilherme in the second round Posser da Costa, from the governing coalition party, the Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP, center-left), came in second with 20.7% of the vote.

The President of the National Assembly, Delfim das Neves, whose Democratic Convergence Party (PCD) also belongs to the government coalition, came in third position and denounced fraud.

Mr. Neves had lodged an appeal with the constitutional court, which was ultimately dismissed.

The new date is set for two days after the end of the mandate of the current President of the Republic, Evaristo Carvalho. According to the Constitution, Mr. Neves must act in the interim in the event of a vacancy in power. But the incumbent president could also assume his office until the new elected president takes office.

In this country of some 210,000 inhabitants, a Portuguese colony until 1975, the president, elected for five years, has only an honorary role, of representation and promulgation of texts, most of the executive power in this parliamentary system. returning to the Prime Minister.

After 15 years of a one-party Marxist regime, Sao Tome opened up to a multiparty system in 1991. The island is considered to be one of the models of parliamentary democracy in Africa.

In this archipelago, as in Cape Verde, the president plays an essentially ceremonial role. The vast majority of executive powers are concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister from the majority in Parliament.

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Source: Reuters-VOA.

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About Reuters

REUTERS: is an international news organization owned by Thomson Reuters. Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data.

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