Former Leader Wins Sao Tome Election

Posted August 8th, 2011 at 6:05 am (UTC-5)
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Former Sao Tome and Principe leader Manuel Pinto da Costa has won a presidential runoff election in the African island nation.

The country's election commission said Monday Mr. Pinto da Costa won 53 percent of the vote, defeating Parliament Speaker Evaristo de Carvalho.

Mr. Pinto da Costa had won the first round of voting and earned the backing of most of the eliminated candidates.

He led a one-party socialist state from 1975 to 1990, and now will succeed President Fradrique de Menezes who was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Mr. Pinto da Costa has made fighting corruption one of his major priorities.

Sao Tome is a former Portuguese colony that won independence in July 1975.

Since then, it has suffered chronic poverty and periodic instability highlighted by failed coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The two-island nation, located in the Gulf of Guinea, is believe to have significant oil reserves and the potential for a tourism industry.