The ruling party in Sao Tome and Principe emerged victorious in a weekend election but lost its majority in the small African island nation, according to initial results, as hundreds demonstrated against potential poll fraud but were dispersed by riot police. In power since 2014, the Independent Democratic Action party (ADI) won Sunday’s poll, securing 25 of the 55 assembly seats, the Electoral Commission said late on Monday — down on its previous tally of 33 seats. Protesters gathered on Monday night in front of the electoral commission claiming the ADI vote share had been boosted through fraud.
The centre-right party plans to join forces with another smaller party that won two seats to form a government.
But the opposition socialist MLSTP-PSD party won 23 seats and plans to form a coalition with five lawmakers from smaller parties.
Sao Tome and Principe, a scattering of islands off the coast of western equatorial Africa that once served the slave and sugar trades of Portuguese colonial rulers, opened up to multiple party elections in 1991 after 15 years of Marxist one-party rule under President Manuel Pinto da Costa.