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Wednesday, 1 August, 2001, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
Businessman wins Sao Tome election
Band backing Fradique de Menezes
Supporters of Menezes have been celebrating
Businessman Fradique de Menezes has been declared the winner of Sao Tome and Principe's presidential election.

Mock funeral for defeated candidate Manuel Pinto da Costa
Buried at the polls: Da Costa is symbolically dispatched by his opponents
The result, announced late on Tuesday, ended two days of speculation about a possible second round of voting.

Mr de Menezes polled 56.31%, well ahead of former President Manuel Pinto da Costa, who gained 38.73%.

Mr Pinto da Costa, whose Marxist adminstration ran the country from independence in 1975 until 1991, had been tipped to make a return to power.

Oil wealth hopes

Turnout among the 67,000 voters was high and polling took place without any reports of major incidents, just logistical problems.

Soa Tomean listening to the radio
People waited two days for the results

Election observers from Angola, Taiwan, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria have declared the vote free and fair.

Mr de Menezes is a member of outing President Miguel Trovoada's Independent Democratic Alliance.

Mr Trovoada is stepping down after the two five-year terms the constitution allows.

He leaves the mainly agricultural economy in a poor state.

During the campaign the candidates concentrated on how they would spend new wealth which is forecast to be generated by recent oil discoveries.

Both Angola and Nigeria, big oil producing countries are keeping a close watch on the situation in their much smaller neighbour.

Angola has been a traditional supporter of Mr da Costa, whose party remains the largest in parliament, while Nigeria signed a maritime border agreement with Mr Trovoada.

The former Portuguese colony lies 300km (200 miles) off the west coast of Africa.

See also:

30 Jul 01 | Africa
Sao Tome counts its votes
26 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Sao Tome and Principe
30 Jul 01 | Africa
Timeline: Sao Tome and Principe
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