São Tomé and Príncipe legislative election, 2002

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
São Tomé and Príncipe

On 3 March 2002, São Tomé and Príncipe held its fourth National Assembly election since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1990. Voter turnout was 66.3 percent.

Background and outcome of elections[edit]

On 8 December 2001, President Fradique de Menezes issued a decree dissolving the Parliament and calling elections on 3 March 2002. The decree was issued after the President and representatives of political parties signed an agreement aimed at establishing a more representative executive, formed of at least two or three of the parties receiving the most votes. This agreement, valid for two terms, was intended to resolve the political crisis which broke out in September 2001, when the opposition Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe walked out of Parliament.

The main political groups in contention were the alliance between the President de Menezes' Force for Change Democratic Movement and the Democratic Convergence Party; the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe (MLSTP), which ruled the nation as a single-party Marxist state from independence until 1991 and the Uê Kédadji, a coalition of five parties.

The campaign focused on promises to use projected oil revenue to modernise agriculture, improve education and attract foreign investment. The run-up to the elections was clouded by allegations that some parties had distributed money to voters. The MLSTP leader claimed that the other political forces were spending large amounts of foreign funds for campaigning, accusations which were denied by these parties.

About 60 per cent of the country's nearly 61,000 voters cast ballots, and international observers declared the elections free and fair.

The elections failed to produce a clear winner, as the opposition MLSTP took 24 of the 55 seats in Parliament, just one more than President de Menezes' Force for Change Democratic Movement. The eight remaining seats went to a coalition led by the Independent Democratic Action of former President Miguel Trovoada.

On 27 March 2002, President Fradique de Menezes ended three weeks of political deadlock by asking the country's envoy to Portugal, Gabriel Costa, to form a government. The latter formed a government with representatives from the three main political coalitions.

Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union [1]

Results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 3 March 2002 National Assembly of São Tomé and Príncipe election results
Parties Votes % Seats (55)
Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe-Social Democratic Party (Movimento de Libertação de São Tomé e Príncipe) 15,618 39.56% 24
MDFM-PCD coalition 15,542 39.37% 23
Uê Kédadji Coalition 6,398 16.20% 8
Others - 4.87% -