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Assembleia nacional (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)26 March 2006
2 April 2006
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
More than 500 candidates contested the 55 seats in parliamentary elections on 26 March and 2 April 2006. The previous elections in 2002 had not produced a clear winner with the Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP) taking 24 seats 23 going to the Force for Change Democratic Movement/Democratic Convergence Party (MDFM-PCD) and eight to the Ue/Kedadji coalition. The ensuing government included representatives of the three main political forces but was marked by instability and allegations of corruption with several prime ministers being dismissed by President Fradique de Menezes.

During the 2006 election campaign mutual allegations of corruption intensified while both the MLSPT and the MDFM-PCD pledged to re-establish political stability in the country. Candidates of both camps also pledged better living conditions for voters in particular improved access to drinking water electricity and health care. Despite the beginning of exploration of oil reserves in 2004 Sao Tome remains one of the poorest country in Africa.

A total of 66.9 per cent of the country's 79 000 registered voters turned out at the polls. Demonstrators demanding better living conditions blocked several polling stations on 26 March. The National Electoral Commission (CEN) subsequently organized separate voting in these polling stations on 2 April which went off in relative peace.

International observers including the European Union and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries monitored the poll. Although vote-buying was reported the observers concluded the elections were free fair and transparent.

The MDFM-PCD which backs President de Menezes regained the leading position in the National Assembly by winning 23 seats while the MLSTP won 19 seats. The principal member in the former Ue/Kedadji coalition the Independent Democratic Alliance (ADI) took 12 with the New Way Movement (NR) winning a single seat. On 20 April President de Menezes appointed his ally and MDFM-PCD leader Mr. Tomé Vera Cruz as the new Prime Minister thus ending the period of cohabitation.

The newly-elected National Assembly held its first session on 18 May 2006 and elected Mr. Francisco da Silva of the MDFM-PCD as its new Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)26 March 2006
2 April 2006
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
53'378 (66.85%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Force for Change Democratic Movement/Democratic Convergence Party (MDFM/PCD) 36.79
Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement (MLSTP) 29.47
Independent Democratic Action (ADI) 20.00
New Way Movement (NR) 4.71
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Force for Change Democratic Movement/Democratic Convergence Party (MDFM/PCD) 23
Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement (MLSTP) 19
Independent Democratic Action (ADI) 12
New Way Movement (NR) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: National Assembly (04.04.2006 19.04.2006)

Note on distribution of seats according to sex:
Four women were elected on 26 March 2006. However after the formation of the new government on 21 April 2006 the total number of women parliamentarians decreased to one (1.82 per cent).
As at 3 December 2008 there were four women (National Assembly 03.12.2008).

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