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Author Topic: São Tomé and Príncipe - General Election - October 12, 2014  (Read 881 times)
politicus
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« on: October 05, 2014, 12:25:13 pm »
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Parliamentary, regional and municipal elections will be held on October 12 in the small island nation, which is a former Portuguese colony. Their National Assembly has 55 seats elected by PR in 7 multimember constituencies. Currently 45 male MPs and 10 female (18,2%). The turnout is normally high and was 88,5% in 2010.

Four parties are represented in the National Assembly:

Independent Democratic Action (ADI) 42.2% (26)
   
Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party (MLSTP/PSD)
32.1% (21)

Democratic Convergence Party – Reflection Group (PCD-GR) 13.6% (7)
 
Force for Change Democratic Movement – Liberal Party (MDFM-PL) 7.1% (1)   

Since December 2012 Gabriel Costa from the small UDD party has been Prime Minister supported by MLSTP-PSD, PCD-GR and MDFM-PL.

MLSTP-PSD is a Social Democratic and Nationalist party. It is the old liberation movement and ruled São Tomé and Príncipe as a Socialist one party state from 1975-1991. They added the PSD to their name in connection  with the introduction of democracy in 1990. Its former leader won the Presidential election in 2011 running as an independent. Their candidate for Prime Minister is economist Osvaldo Vaz.

ADI is a moderate centrist party established in 1994 by Miguel Trovoada, who was President 1991-2001 and is currently led by his son Patrice Trovoada, who was Prime Minister from 2010 to December 2012, when his government was voted out of office.

MDFM-PL is a Liberal, pro-business party created in 2001 by supporters of the newly elected President, wealthy businessman Fradique de Menezes (in office 2001-11). The party more or less collapsed and lost 22 seats in 2010 after PCD had left them in 2008.

PCD is a centre-right party created in 1991 by MLSTP dissidents, independents and young professionals to contest the first democratic election. It then ruled Sao Tome 1991-1994. In 2002 and 2006 it was part of an alliance with MDFM-PL, but withdrew in 2008 and won 7 seats on its own last time. The partys Chairman is the 79 year old Leonel Mário d'Alva, who was Prime Minister in the transitional 1974-75 government prior to independence and Foreign Minister 1975-78, but he is a figurehead. Their candidate for Prime Minister is Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries António Dias, who comes from a poor background and is considered an outsider by the political oligarchy.

Others:

UDD (Union for Democracy and Development founded in 2005 as Union of Democrats for Citizenship and Development) is the party of Prime Minister Gabriel Costa. They got 1,2% and no seats last time. They now cooperate with the regional party UMPP (Union for Change and Progress on Príncipe), led by the head of the regional council on Príncipe Jose Cassandra and will likely do better this time.

The country's political elite is small and interwoven. Miguel Trovoada was Foreign Minister and Fradique de Menezes Prime Minister during the Socialist era.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 04:20:35 am by politicus »Logged

politicus
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 11:04:50 am »
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One of the main problems the new government will have to address is that 96 percent of the population live within 10 kilometres of the coastline. Rising sea levels and storm surges are exacerbating coastal erosion, which is threatening infrastructure and coastal villages. Some coastal villages have already had to temporarily relocate and they may have to move them permanently.
So big expenses ahead and little money to do it for.
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Mogrovejo
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 07:17:02 pm »
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PCD is a centre-right party created in 1991 by MLSTP dissidents, independents and young professionals to contest the first democratic election. It then ruled Sao Tome 1991-1994. In 2002 and 2006 it was part of an alliance with MDFM-PL, but withdrew in 2008 and won 7 seats on its own last time. The party is led by 79 year old (sic!) Leonel Mário d'Alva, who was Prime Minister in the transitional 1974-75 government prior to independence and Foreign Minister 1975-78.

The country's political elite is small and interwoven. Miguel Trovoada was Foreign Minister and Fradique de Menezes Prime Minister during the Socialist era.

Just a side note: Leonel Mário d'Alva is the PCD chairman but that's a ceremonial position. Their candidate to PM is António Dias, the current Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries - actually a very popular guy, at least among farmers and fishermen. Mostly due to a sizeable cooperation program with Tawian for those areas (and, to be fair, his ability to pass through the money with minimal corruption for STP standards, which encouraged Taiwan to send more money). He's an outsider to STP political aristocracy (as you wrote it's a very closed and interwoven group, basically a handful of families), grew up in a roça, so it'll be interesting to see what he does. Then again, I wouldn't call him the PCD leader either, even if that's what he technically is - I doubt he'll have much control over their parliamentary group post-elections. The PCD oligarchy put him up front due to his popularity that, I suspect, contrasts with that of the party.

Some additional nitpicking: the STP politics is remarkably non-ideological (somehow expected for such a tiny country with an underdeveloped economy). I understand the left-right divide, as basically it's the MLSTP vs parties founded by cliques/personalities that departed from the MLSTP/PSD official line, but in the end they're all catch-all parties and the average santomense doesn't think of them from an ideological standpoint. Relationships of family, friendship and patronage are far more important factors (and some good old fashioned caciquism/vote buying); what parties try to sell above everything is their ability to capture foreign funds (aid or investment) and that they'll be less corrupt than the other guys making use of it.

Also, Gabriel Costa isn't from MLSTP/PSD, he has his own party (UDD). He was appointed directly by PdC as someone who could get the support of all parties supporting the troika government.

Where did you get the sea level and coastal erosion info? I've never heard of relocated villages, or that stuff being an issue, and I doubt the next government will spend much time on it. Anyway, São Tomé coastal villages wouldn't be that difficult to relocate. And basically the entire population will leave near the coast, nowadays the interior is mostly jungle and abandoned roças (the old cocoa farms from colonial times, some of them still operate, either as small biological cocoa production units or as tourist spots). But it's a big steep mountain covered by tropical jungle.

There was actually a poll published by a newspaper: MLSTP - 22 mandates; ADI - 14; PCD -14; MDFM - 5. There's no way of telling if they actually polled anyone, of course. I doubt it. But it'll be something along those lines: either the not-MLSTP/PSD vote is concentrated on Trovoada and in that case the ADI might even get an absolute majority or, as in the poll scenario, it gets dispersed and the MLSTP will probably win a plurality.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 07:33:56 pm by Mogrovejo »Logged
politicus
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 04:06:16 am »
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Where did you get the sea level and coastal erosion info? I've never heard of relocated villages, or that stuff being an issue, and I doubt the next government will spend much time on it. Anyway, São Tomé coastal villages wouldn't be that difficult to relocate. And basically the entire population will leave (live) near the coast, nowadays the interior is mostly jungle and abandoned roças (the old cocoa farms from colonial times, some of them still operate, either as small biological cocoa production units or as tourist spots). But it's a big steep mountain covered by tropical jungle.

UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

http://www.uneca.org/media-centre/stories/addressing-climate-change-comoros-and-sao-tome-and-principe#.VDZMwxbzPlc

But there are several links to stuff about STP being vulnerable to climate change.


There was actually a poll published by a newspaper: MLSTP - 22 mandates; ADI - 14; PCD -14; MDFM - 5. There's no way of telling if they actually polled anyone, of course. I doubt it. But it'll be something along those lines: either the non-MLSTP/PSD vote is concentrated on Trovoada and in that case the ADI might even get an absolute majority or, as in the poll scenario, it gets dispersed and the MLSTP will probably win a plurality.

This only makes sense if they use FPTP, but Wikipedia says they use PR (and the National Assembly article seems to be written by someone knowledgable).

-------------------

Thx for all the info - I have made some changes to the OP. Costa being MLSTP is a Wiki info from the short article on him. I can see here that he is running for UDD (União para a Democracia e Desenvolvimento, so Union for Democracy and Development) - as you said - and that they only have a single seat in the National Assembly. Since they didn't get any seats in 2010 it must be Costa defecting from someone else, so probably the Wiki info of him being MLSTP is just dated and he did ran for MLSTP in 2010.

1. Do you know when he left MLSTP? It must have been after the last election.

2. Do you have any info on why MDFM and PCD ditched Trovada?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 07:04:28 am by politicus »Logged

Mogrovejo
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 09:47:00 am »
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Where did you get the sea level and coastal erosion info? I've never heard of relocated villages, or that stuff being an issue, and I doubt the next government will spend much time on it. Anyway, São Tomé coastal villages wouldn't be that difficult to relocate. And basically the entire population will leave (live) near the coast, nowadays the interior is mostly jungle and abandoned roças (the old cocoa farms from colonial times, some of them still operate, either as small biological cocoa production units or as tourist spots). But it's a big steep mountain covered by tropical jungle.

UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

http://www.uneca.org/media-centre/stories/addressing-climate-change-comoros-and-sao-tome-and-principe#.VDZMwxbzPlc

But there are several links to stuff about STP being vulnerable to climate change.

Well I don't doubt STP is vulnerable to climate change (not that they can do anything about climate change per se), but as brick houses are such a rarity in STP and wood is so cheap, it won't be much of a problem even if there's some drastic progression in coastal erosion.

As I told you, I think those "relocated villages" is just some bureaucrat or environmentalist hyping up some wooden buildings being hit by a vivid sea tempest and people building new ones somewhere else. I've never heard of it and can't find references in portuguese/forro; it just wasn't as dramatic as it sounds.

There was actually a poll published by a newspaper: MLSTP - 22 mandates; ADI - 14; PCD -14; MDFM - 5. There's no way of telling if they actually polled anyone, of course. I doubt it. But it'll be something along those lines: either the non-MLSTP/PSD vote is concentrated on Trovoada and in that case the ADI might even get an absolute majority or, as in the poll scenario, it gets dispersed and the MLSTP will probably win a plurality.

This only makes sense if they use FPTP, but Wikipedia says they use PR (and the National Assembly article seems to be written by someone knowledgable). [/quote]


Ah I get it now. No, it's PR with 7 electoral districts. What I meant there, and sorry for the misunderstanding, is that the MLSTP voting base is generally seen as solid but inelastic with the rest of the voters being persuadable by any of the other parties. The MLSTP tends to elect 20ish NA members; the other parties divide the remaining ones. If ADI runs the table with that non-MLSTP segment of the voting population, then they'll top MLSTP in total votes. Basically the MLSTP has a high floor and low ceiling; the ADI and the PCD lower floors and higher ceilings. Of course, this is the CW; things can always change.


Thx for all the info - I have made some changes to the OP. Costa being MLSTP is a Wiki info from the short article on him. I can see here that he is running for UDD (União para a Democracia e Desenvolvimento, so Union for Democracy and Development) - as you said - and that they only have a single seat in the National Assembly. Since they didn't get any seats in 2010 it must be Costa defecting from someone else, so probably the Wiki info of him being MLSTP is just dated and he did ran for MLSTP in 2010.

1. Do you know when he left MLSTP? It must have been after the last election.

2. Do you have any info on why MDFM and PCD ditched Trovada?


Gabriel Costa was never a MLSTP member (at least during the multiparty era), that info is incorrect. He was an ADI member and left with some other guys to found UDD in 2005 over disagreements with the Trovoadas, mostly Patrice. He was the Justice Minister in the 90s, then Ambassador to Portugal and before being nominated PM he was the president of the Bar association.

I don't think the UDD has any seats in the NA, that article doesn't state that.

1. Why do you say he must have left MLSTP after the last election? He's been with the UDD since 2005.

2. Trovoada had a minority government, not a formal coalition with the MDFM and the PCD. The MLSTP presented a motion of no confidence - sustained on arguments about corruption, violation of budgetary law, the process of recognizing Kosovo (suggesting it was done in exchange for bribes) and general mismanagement of the government apparatus- and the government was voted out. Amidst a constitutional controversy on whether he should call snap elections or not, Pinto da Costa just invited the 3 opposition parties to form a coalition government and nominated Gabriel Costa as a well-respected person they could all get behind. Of course, the motion of no confidence passed because the opposition parties already had that deal in place with Pinto da Costa. Trovoada threw an hissy fit and went into a golden exile - he only returned to São Tomé a few days ago, he's been living in Portugal and travelling around.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 09:51:41 am by Mogrovejo »Logged
politicus
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 10:10:11 am »
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Okay, I just assumed Costa had to be an MP to become Prime Minister.

It was the sentence "Adelino Lucas, igualmente secretário de Estado Adjunto do Primeiro-ministro para a Comunicação Social, líder do secretariado do partido com apenas um deputado na Assembleia Nacional"

Google translate "translated" it as "with one member (deputee) in the National Assembly. It sounded legit. Sorry!

(I shouldn't try to "read" Portuguese through half forgotten Spanish and Gogle translate..)

Any background info on Jose Cassandra on Príncipe?
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2014, 11:24:01 am »
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Okay, I just assumed Costa had to be an MP to become Prime Minister.

Ah, hence the confusion. Pretty much like in Portugal (the same people wrote both constitutions) no MP requirement - it's whoever the PR invites informed by

It was the sentence "Adelino Lucas, igualmente secretário de Estado Adjunto do Primeiro-ministro para a Comunicação Social, líder do secretariado do partido com apenas um deputado na Assembleia Nacional"

Google translate "translated" it as "with one member (deputee) in the National Assembly. It sounded legit. Sorry!

The translation is absolutely fine, but that Adelino Lucas person is a MDFM member (
"Adelino Lucas, secretário-geral do partido liberal liderado pelo ex-Chefe de Estado Fradique de Menezes" means "Adelino Lucas, general secretary of the Liberal Party lead by the ex-PoR Fradique de Menezes")- and MDFM indeed has a singe seat in the NA. The part specifically about the UDD comes in the last 3 paragraphs (the article is about MDFM, ADI and UDD registering their candidates lists on the courts).


Any background info on Jose Cassandra on Príncipe?

Yeah, apparently this year they'll have two electoral districts in Príncipe with D'Hondt method (as it's always been the case in the rest of the country). For some odd reason, Príncipe had a winner takes all electoral law until now.

Cassandra leads the localist party in Principe, the UMPP - elections are usually contested between the UMPP and the MLSTP since the former was created. This year the ADI is running their own candidate for the regional government. Apparently there's another local party running, the MAP (Movement Love Príncipe).

Some articles in the press suggest the race will be closer:
http://www.telanon.info/politica/2014/08/29/17252/eleicao-regional-luta-renhida-pelo-poder-na-ilha-do-principe/
http://jornaldigital.com/noticias.php?noticia=43222

Príncipe is a micro-island, there are like 2500 votes there. One could argue that president of the regional government shouldn't even be a full-time job; but they have five of those (the president, the vp and 3 regional secretaries).  On Cassandra specifically I have no info even though I've met him once. He's a friendly guy and is/was a lawyer who graduated in Portugal.

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politicus
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2014, 12:15:33 pm »
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Príncipe is a micro-island, there are like 2500 votes there.

With 7.500 inhabitants that sounds low, even for an African country, but of course it  will be few.

Yeah, apparently this year they'll have two electoral districts in Príncipe with D'Hondt method (as it's always been the case in the rest of the country). For some odd reason, Príncipe had a winner takes all electoral law until now.

That must be for the regional election. Príncipe only has 4% of the population, so with 55 seats, that should give them 2 seats in the National Assembly - so 1 per district = FPTP. Unless they are overrepresented?

The districts (with Principe as one):



Água Grande (with 56.000-60.000 in São Tomé town) 73,091 (13)
Cantagalo 18,194 (7)
Caué  6,887 (5)
Lembá 15,37 (6)
Lobata 20,007 (6)
Mé-Zóchi (with 9.000 in Trindade) 46,265 (13)
Pagué (=Principe) 7,542 (5)

So very uneven distribution in the districts. 39% of the population in Água Grande, but clear over representation of the thinly populated district. Seat allocation is from 2006, dunno if they have changed that to something more fair.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 09:47:41 am by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2014, 12:51:13 pm »
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To clarify: for the national election, to elect national assembly members, Príncipe is a single electoral district, as it always was. As I said it's 7 districts, they're one of them.

For the regional election (the one Cassandra is running on), to elect the regional assembly members, there will be two districts - electing the 7 members of the regional assembly that will then nominate the regional government (the 5 members executive body).  I only mentioned this in the context of Cassandra.

As per this article, the 2010 regional elections result in Príncipe was IMMP - 2042 votes, MLSTP - 1039 votes; so I was low-balling the size of their electorate but not by much, it's 3000ish voters.
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politicus
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 06:01:37 am »
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Local media Téla Nón reports that while the data are still being processed by the National Electoral Commission, it is clear that MLSTP has only won the thinly populated Caué dstrict on the southern end of the main island São Tomé. In the rest of the country ADI has won overwhelmingly and their majority is guaranteed, it now remains to know the exact figures, which will be published later today by the President of the National Electoral Commission. So Patrice Trovoada is back in office after two years of golden exile.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 06:07:01 am by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 11:51:28 am »
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ADI has held a victory march through the capital. The current prognosis is that they will get 30-33 seats, so an absolute majority.

Besides the parties mentioned in the OP four small left wing and/or populist parties also ran:

Socialist Movement (MS) led by Gilberto Gil Amorin.  

São Toméan Labour Party (PTS) led by Anacleto Rolin.
 
National Platform for development (PND) running as PND-STP (dunno what STP stands for - perhaps just São Tomé and Príncipe) is created by President and former MLSTP boss Manuel Pinto da Costa and led by António Quintas Aguiar, Mayor of Mé-Zochi and former candidate for the leadership of MLSTP.

PEPS led by Rafael Branco, former Deputy Executive Secretary for CPLP and former leader of MLSTP.

PND, UDD and PEPS tried to form an electoral alliance, but this was denied by the Constitutional Court.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 05:46:40 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2014, 03:31:02 am »
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Final result:

ADI 33 (+7)
MLSTP 16 (-5)
PCD 5 (-2)
MDFM 0 (-1)
UDD 1 (+1)

São Tomé and Príncipe gets a new parliamentary structure, which reduces the old liberation movement MLSTP to the lowest ever with only 16 seats, weakens the PCD and leaves out the MDFM of former president de Menezes, while Patrice Trovoada's ADI jumps from 26 seats in 2010 to 33 and gets an absolute majority. So a historic victory for ADI and a big loss for MLSTP and PCD, as well as the first appearance of outgoing Prime Minister Gabriel Costa's UDD in parliament with one seat.

Local elections

The electoral storm also hit the local elections. MLSTP lost the chambers of Lembá, Cantagalo  and Lobata (a 4-4 tie between MLSTP and ADI with 1 PCD), and ADI strengthened its leading position in the populous municipalities of Água Grande and Mé-Zochi. Only the thinly populated municipality of Caué in the south continues to be ruled by MLSTP.

The ADI hurricane did not affect São Tomé's sister island Príncipe. In the regional elections the local UMPP led by Jose Cassandra managed to elect five members of the Regional Assembly and MLSTP got the other two, while ADI failed to get a voice in the parliament of the autonomous region of Príncipe.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 04:17:02 am by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2014, 03:47:18 pm »
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One of the "also ran" parties in this election was National Platform for Development (PND) created by President Manuel Pinto da Costa, who was also President back in 1975-1991, when São Tomé and Príncipe was a Socialist one party state run by MLSTP and member of the party until 2005. MLSTP now accuses its old leader of spoiling the party's electoral chances by vote splitting on the left and says PND was its worst enemy, not the centre-right ADI!

Meanwhile PND asks the Constitutional Court to repeat the election in three communities in the Lembá district. In an appeal to the Constitutional Court on 13 October the National Platform for Development says that in the town of Ribeira Funda, which corresponds to electoral area number 1 in the Lembá district, the electorate boycotted the election in a tumultuous manner and in fact prevented the realization of the vote. The PND has presented photos, testimonials and news extracts as evidence of a de facto election boycot in Ribeira Funda .

The PND believes that there were also irregularities which justify the repetition of the vote in two other locations in the Lembá district, including Ribeira Palma and Santa Tereza .

In Ribeira Palma "it was found that the election came down to a vote of the delegates and was counted as an abstention from all other voters in that polling station, thus distorting the electoral outcome of the locality whose falsehood is impacting the real expression of votes with negative influence on the electoral outcome of PND, besides influencing the overall result", says the PND in its appeal to the Constitutional Court.

The party asked the Constitutional Court to annul the vote expressed at the voting station in Ribeira Palma, where only delegates exercised their right to vote, and believes that in the other two locations with "serious and tumultuous behavior of citizens during the polling day", it should lead to a repetition of the election in accordance with paragraph 2 in article 165 of the Electoral Act.

International observers from the African Union describes the election process as transparent and the election as free and fair.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 12:07:35 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 05:19:51 pm »
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It turns out the boycot in five localities across the districts of Lembá, Cantagalo and Caué was because locals wanted to pressure the authorities to solve problems with lack of drinking water and electricity.
The National Electoral Commission decided not to repeat the elections, since it was a voluntary boycot. However PND believes it has a chance of getting a seat in Lembá constituency and has extended their appeal to the Constitutional Court, now requesting repetition of the election in six (sic) localities in Lembá, where they say the population boycotted the polls. Last Thursday the locals in the Ribeira Palma district of Lembá demonstrated and demanded the right to (re)vote. If the Constitutional Court decides to repeat the elections in the towns of Lembá, which boycotted the elections on 12 October, the end result may change according to local media. PND might win a mandate and the UDD loose their sole seat.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 06:03:54 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 05:25:10 pm »
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A single constituency result has been published, if anyone is interested..

Água Grande, the most heavily populated with a total of 36.431 voters, but 10.758 abstained.

25.673 votes

UDD - 243
ADI – 14.591
MLSTP – 5.891
MDFM – 722
PTS – 39
MS – 15
CODO – 30
FDC – 30
PND – 631
PCD – 2.175
PEPS – 571
UNDP – 50

Blank – 286  
Invalid – 409.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 06:01:30 pm by politicus »Logged

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