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Assembleia nacional (National Assembly)

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A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 1 August 2010
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
In February 2010, Prime Minister Rafael Branco announced that parliamentary elections, constitutionally due by April 2010, would be postponed indefinitely due to a lack of funds. The Government had reportedly been unable to set a date for elections due to a standoff between the President and Parliament. On 17 March, President Fradique de Menezes issued a decree stating that the President was the sole person to set election dates and setting parliamentary elections for 1 August.

In the previous elections held in March and April 2006, the Force for Change Democratic Movement/Liberal Party - Democratic Convergence Party (MDFM/PL-PCD), effectively led by President de Menezes, took 23 of the 55 seats in the National Assembly. The Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement-Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD) and the Independent Democratic Alliance (ADI), both of which had been in the coalition government with the MDFM/PL-PCD, took 19 and 12 seats respectively. The remaining seat went to a small party. After the 2006 elections, President de Menezes appointed his ally, Mr. Tomé Vera Cruz (MDFM/PL), as the new Prime Minister, thus ending the period of cohabitation. Mr. Francisco da Silva (PCD) was elected as the new Speaker of the National Assembly. Mr. de Menezes (MDFM/PL) was re-elected in the presidential elections held in July 2006, defeating ADI leader Patrice Trovoada, son of former president Miguel Trovoada.

Since the 1990 Constitution created a multi-party democracy, no government has lasted for the entire legislature. In February 2008, a power-sharing administration between the MDFM/PL, the PCD and the ADI was formed under the premiership of ADI leader Trovoada. However, in May 2008, this government collapsed as a result of a no-confidence vote in parliament brought by the MLSTP-PSD and the PCD. In May 2008, President de Menezes appointed Mr. Rafael Branco (MLSTP-PSD) as the new Prime Minister, the 14th since 1990. President Menezes' MDFM/PL and the PCD joined the new government.

In December 2009, Mr. Menezes, who had been the MDFM/PL's honorary president until then, was elected MDFM/PL leader. The PCD argued that his election was 'unconstitutional' since the Constitution prohibits the President from holding any other official post. The MLSTP-PSD and the PCD asked the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of President de Menezes' election as MDFM/PL leader. The MDFM/PL subsequently withdrew from the MLSTP-PSD-led government. In April 2010, Speaker da Silva (PCD) passed away and was succeeded by Mr. Arzemiro de Jesus Ribeiro dos Prazeres of the Democratic Convergence Party (PCD) the following month.

The MDFM/PL was reportedly losing ground, making the 2010 elections a race between Prime Minister Branco's MLSTP-PSD and the opposition ADI of former prime minister Trovoada.

The ADI's election campaign focused on "change". It pledged to restore the State's authority and fight corruption. It ruled out any possibility of forming a government with the parties in the outgoing government, i.e. the MLSTP-PSD and the PCD.

The MLSTP-PSD urged voters to give them an absolute majority in the new legislature so as to bring an end to political instability in the country. Prime Minister Branco promised that he would open his new government to civil society. The PCD, led by Mr. Albertino Bragança, promised "dynamic governance" and economic growth.

On 1 August, 88.45 per cent of some 79,000 registered voters turned out at the polls. Voting took place in relative peace although it was disrupted in two polling stations. In Belem, citizens staged an election boycott over the lack of drinking water in their community. In a separate incident, a ballot box was stolen from a polling station in Montalvao. ADI leader Trovoada denounced vote-buying and intimidation tactics against ADI supporters. On 8 August, the election commission repeated elections in those polling stations.

The final results gave 26 seats to the opposition ADI, a sharp increase from the 12 seats it had obtained in 2006. Prime Minister Branco's MLSTP-PSD came in second with 21 seats and the PCD took seven. The MDFM/PL won only one seat. In all, ten women were elected.

On 14 August, the Supreme Court validated the election results. President de Menezes appointed Mr. Trovoada of the ADI as the new Prime Minister. His government, comprising the ADI and the MDFM/PL, was sworn in on 23 August.

On 11 September, the National Assembly held its first session and elected former prime minister Evaristo do Espírito Santo Carvalho (ADI) as its new Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 11 August 2010
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
70'136 (88.45%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Independent Democratic Alliance (ADI) 29'588 43.13
Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement - Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD) 22'510 32.81
Democratic Convergence Party (PCD) 9'540 13.91
Force for Change Democratic Movement/Liberal Party (MDFM/PL) 4'986 7.27
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Independent Democratic Alliance (ADI) 26
Sao Tome and Principe Liberation Movement - Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD) 21
Democratic Convergence Party (PCD) 7
Force for Change Democratic Movement/Liberal Party (MDFM/PL) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
21 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Finance, management or business 13
Education profession 9
Architect, surveyor, engineer 8
IT/technology 6
Legal profession 5
Research/sciences 4
Economist 2
Physician, dentist 2
Writer, literary, artist 1
Civil service and local authority administration 1
Others 1
Entrepreneur 1
Clerical, secretarial, administration 1
Journalism, broadcasting, media 1
- National Assembly (14.09.2010, 22.07.2011)
- http://www.tribunalconstitucional.st/
- http://www.cstome.net/oparvo/

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