The head of state has boycotted West Africa, Sao Tome
and Principe in the unusual step of his runoff election, a victory for his rival.
Manuel Pinto da Costa has pulled out of Sunday’s election,
alleging fraud in the first round,
which was held on July 17.
Rival Evaristo Carvalho, a former prime minister,
is sure to win the race now.
He had won the first round with 49.8 percent of the vote, while Mr. Pinto da Costa has taken 24.8%.
Before the runoff on Sunday, he has called on his supporters not to vote,
and said subsequent reports, many of whom did not participate.
Mr. Pinto da Costa of Sao Tome ruled with an iron fist for the first 15 years after independence from Portugal in 1975.
After the introduction of reforms in 1990,
including a democratic multi-party lost the presidency,
but in 2011,
he was re-elected to office.
Sao Tome and Principe, the former Portuguese colony, and consists of two islands of volcanic origin, and a number of small islands lying off the west coast of Africa.
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