Polls have opened in the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe where citizens are choosing a president. Over one hundred thousand voters are expected to cast their ballots in the poll which pits incumbent president Manuel Pinto da Costa against four other contenders. Two of the contenders, Evaristo Carvalho and Maria das Neves already pitted their strengths against Pinto da Costa in 2011 but lost. Sunday’s poll is expected to be a keen one among these three main contenders who have played different roles in the island nation’s political life.
Carvalho was a minister in the late 1970s and has twice served as Prime Minister since 1991 while Neves, an economist at the Central Bank has been a long-time parliamentarian with Sao Tome’s second largest party, MLSTP.
Head of the country’s electoral body, the National Electoral Commission, Alberto Pereira has assured that all is set for the polls. He is quoted as saying: “We had materials in time. Human and financial resources are also in order”.
Pereira also assured that provision has been for power outages at all 311 polling stations spread across the country.