Voting begins in Sao Tome presidential runoff

Polls opened on Sunday in a presidential run-off in Sao Tome and Principe between the archipelago’s former infrastructure minister Carlos Vila Nova, who won the first round in July, and former prime minister Guilherme Posser da Costa.

Seen a model of parliamentary democracy off the coast of Central Africa, Sao Tome is a focus of interest by the oil industry, with several firms exploring in the hope of finding significant reserves.

The country’s 123,000 registered voters will choose a successor to 79-year-old Evaristo Carvalho, who did not seek a second five-year term in the largely ceremonial post.

The second round of voting was delayed when the third-ranked candidate, Delfim Neves, alleged fraud and demanded a recount. The constitutional court ultimately rejected his request.

The 262 polling stations in the former Portuguese colony in the Gulf of Guinea will close at 17:00 GMT.

In the last two decades, Sao Tome’s growth has been largely driven by government expenditure backed by external aid and government borrowing, as well as agriculture, tourism, and foreign investment in oil exploration, according to the World Bank.

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