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São Tomé and Príncipe elections: Brazil’s ambassador in Angola leads CPLP observation mission

Brazil’s ambassador in Angola, Rafael Vidal, is the leader of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) election observation mission to the upcoming legislative elections in São Tomé and Príncipe on September 25.

“It will be an ambassador from Brazil who will head the mission,” announced the executive secretary of the CPLP, Zacarias da Costa, in statements to Lusa, referring to Rafael Vidal.

Already from the Executive Secretariat of the organization, the mission has two Portuguese, the jurist Mário Mendão and Filipe Baver Stock, added Zacarias da Costa.

Brazil's ambassador in Angola, Rafael Vidal
Brazil’s ambassador in Angola, Rafael Vidal. (Photo: internet reproduction)

To Lusa, Mario Mendão explained that the mission would leave for Sao Tome and Principe on Sunday and would leave the country on September 28.

For now, the CPLP electoral observation mission is composed of 12 elements but may reach at least 16 because the organization is still waiting for confirmations from parliamentarians of the CPLP, which should join the mission on the 20th, clarified the legal advisor of the organization.

Mário Mendão highlighted the uniqueness of this next electoral act in São Tomé and Príncipe for being “the broadest”, with three elections taking place simultaneously.

In addition, he considered that, as has already been seen in previous elections, in this one also, “there is an increasing concertation between the international organizations that support or are observers”.

The Executive Secretary, for his part, believes that the work of this mission of CPLP observers is as good as the previous two.

“We had two good missions in Timor [East] and Angola,” he stressed.

In total, ten parties and one coalition are running for the legislative elections in São Tomé and Príncipe:

  • Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe/Social Democratic Party (MLSTP/PSD)
  • Independent Democratic Action (ADI)
  • Basta
  • Democratic Movement Force of Change/Liberal Union (MDFM/UL)
  • Union for Democracy and Development (UDD)
  • CID-STP, Union Movement for Broad Development (Muda)
  • New Party, Social Democratic Movement/São Tomé and Príncipe Green Party (MSD-PVSTP)
  • Party of All Santomans (PTOS)
  • Independent Citizens Movement/Socialist Party/National Unity Party.

At stake is the election of 55 deputies to the National Assembly of São Tomé and Príncipe, including two who, for the first time, will be elected from European and African constituencies.

ADI was the most voted party in the 2018 elections, electing 25 deputies, followed by MLSTP/PSD, which won 23 seats.

The coalition formed by the Democratic Convergence Party (PCD, the second-largest opposition party), UDD, and MDFM was the third most voted formation, obtaining five seats.

The Movement of Independent Citizens of São Tomé and Príncipe/Socialist Party (MCI/PS) took two parliamentary seats.

MLSTP and the PCD-UDD-MDFM coalition formed the so-called “new majority” and constituted a government led by Jorge Bom Jesus.

On the 25th, the regional government of Príncipe will also go vote with the Union for Change and Progress in Príncipe (UMPP), led by the current president, Filipe Nascimento, and the Green Movement for the Development of Príncipe (MVDP) and MLSTP/PSD coalition, headed by Nestor Umbelina, running.

The 123,302 voters of São Tomé are also called to choose their mayors.

Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Principe, and Timor-Leste are the nine member states of the CPLP.

With information from LUSA

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