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President-Backed Coalition Wins Sao Tome Elections


A coalition backed by President Fradique de Menezes has won legislative elections in Sao Tome and Principe.

Final results announced Monday show the MDFM-PCD coalition winning 23 of 55 parliamentary seats. The coalition that previously controlled parliament, the MLSTP-PSD, won 19 seats, losing five.

The president's own ADI party won 12 seats and is now expected to enter talks with the winning coalition on forming a government.

Polling on the islands off Africa's west coast concluded Sunday. The election was delayed in some areas for a week after protesters in several districts blocked roads to polling sites.

Officials said Sunday's polling was open to some 10,000 people who were originally prevented from casting ballots.

Activists said they boycotted the elections to protest the government's failure to provide basic services like water and electricity.

Election officials say voter turnout was 64 percent.

The election campaigns had revolved around allegations of corruption among the main parties. The president has fired several prime ministers in recent years because of corruption charges.

Exploration of Sao Tome's oil reserves began last year, but the country has yet to draw any benefit from the oil.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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