Opposition urges President to accept government with parliamentary support

MLSTP-PSD leader Jorge Bom Jesus addresses supporters and sympathizers during the campaign for the general and local elections in São Tomé -- São Tomé and Príncipe, September 30, 2018. NUNO VEIGA/LUSA

The MLSTP-PSD urged the São Tomé President to "expedite things" and said that a cabinet formed by the ADI, the winning party in Sunday's general elections, "will succumb" in parliament

"Time is pressing, the country stopped for these elections. We must move on and have a cabinet. We should expedite things right now," Elsa Pinto, Vice President of the MLSTP-PSD (the second-most voted party in Sunday's general elections), told a press conference in São Tomé's capital last Sunday.

São Tomé's President Evaristo Carvalho, "who knows the country's political chessboard, should ask the [parties] with parliamentary sustainability to exercise this right," said Elsa Pinto. MLSTP-PSD President Jorge Bom Jesus, Arlindo Carvalho (leader of the PCD-UDD-MDFM coalition), and UDD President Carlos Neves also took the floor.

According to the provisional results released by the National Electoral Committee (CEN), the ADI (Independent Democratic Action, currently in power) won the general elections with a simple majority (25 parliamentary seats out of 55), followed by the MLSTP (23 seats), the PCD-UDD-MDFM coalition (5 seats), and two independent MPs from Caué district (south of the country).

Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada said he will seek an understanding with the independent MPs from Caué, which would secure him 27 seats. But the MLSTP and the PCD-UDD-MDFM coalition - which according to Elsa Pinto have reached a parliamentary agreement "with the ambition to form a government" - have 28 seats.

"According to the constitution, the President of the Republic must demand parliamentary sustainability from the winning party. If this isn't possible, then let us move to those who have parliamentary sustainability," said Elsa Pinto, adding that "our government will have a solid basis for ruling the country and for seeing all governance instruments approved." According to Pinto, an ADI government "will succumb" in parliament, because the opposition bloc will reject its drafts.