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Sao Tome presidential race headed for run-off

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-07-20 21:41

The Independent National Election Commission of Sao Tome and Principe has released the provisional results of Sunday's presidential elections, which indicated that no candidate reached the threshold for winning the election and the country is headed for a run-off.

According to the results announced on Monday by Fernando Maguengo, the chairman of the commission, Carlos Vila Nova, a former infrastructure minister who represents the party of outgoing president Evaristo Carvalho, came first in the first round with over 39 percent of the vote.

Guilherme Posser da Costa, a former prime minister, finished second with nearly 21 percent of the vote. Maguengo said the electorate will return to the polls on Aug 8 for the second and final round of voting between the two leading candidates.

In a statement released on Monday, the election observation mission of the Economic Community of Central African States said the elections took place in a calm and peaceful manner throughout the country.

"As observers, we did not record any irregularities that could jeopardize the transparency, freedom and fairness of the presidential elections. Polling stations opened on time and the mission registered a good turnout of voters," Nagoum Yamassoum, head of the election observation mission, said.

In a separate statement, the African Union indicated it had dispatched a short-term election observation mission to the small island nation in the Gulf of Guinea.

"In addition to the direct observation of the process, the African Union Mission will meet the political, administrative and judicial authorities of the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the candidates and the representatives of the international community in order to realize arrangements made for the holding of a free and credible election," the statement said.

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