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Sao Tome and Principe Elections: President Manuel Pinto da Costa Boycotts Own Run-Off Vote

Sao Tome and Principe’s President Manuel Pinto da Costa has boycotted his own run-off election, handing victory to his rival.

The president of the West African state withdrew from August 7 poll, alleging fraud in the first round held on July 17.Manuel Pinto da Costa of Sao Tome and Principe

Manuel Pinto da Costa’s rival, Evaristo Carvalho, a former prime minister, is now certain to win the race.

Evaristo Carvalho had won the first round with 49.8% of the vote while Mamuel Pinto da Costa had taken 24.8%.

Ahead of August 7 run-off, Manuel Pinto da Costa had called on his supporters not to vote, and later reports said many of them had stayed away.

Manuel Pinto da Costa ruled Sao Tome with an iron fist for the first 15 years after independence from Portugal in 1975.

He lost the presidency after introducing reforms in 1990, including multi-party democracy, but in 2011, he was re-elected to office.

Sao Tome and Principe, a former Portuguese colony, consists of two islands of volcanic origin and a number of smaller islets lying off the western coast of Africa.Sa

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