October 14, 2014 / 12:06 AM / 4 years ago

Opposition ADI party gets majority in Sao Tome parliamentary vote

SAO TOME, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The opposition ADI party has won Sao Tome and Principe’s parliamentary elections with an outright majority, the tiny island nation’s election commission said on Monday.

Led by ex-prime minister Patrice Trovoada, the ADI won 33 of the 55 seats up for grabs in Sunday’s vote in the Gulf of Guinea country, which is hoping to start producing oil within a year.

Trovoada’s party won the most votes in the 2010 vote, but it fell short of a majority and the government he led was defeated in a vote of no confidence in 2012.

The rival MLSTP party was second with 16 seats, according to Victor Correia, head of the election commission. The PCD took five seats and the UDD won a single seat, Correia added.

A former Portuguese colony in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe is surrounded by nations that have produced oil for decades, but its fields have so far failed to produce major finds.

In April, Sao Tome and Principe and neighbouring Nigeria said they planned to use non-conventional oil exploration technology in their joint offshore zone with the aim of launching production within 18 months.

Earlier in the year, Sao Tome’s government short-listed four companies, including Portugal’s Galp Energia, to bid on two oil blocks in its exclusive economic zone, according to a statement released by state oil company ANP.

Sao Tome is one of the few African nations to recognise self-ruled Taiwan over China.

However, the visit of Sao Tome and Principe’s president to China earlier this year sparked tensions, with Taiwan saying it was “highly concerned” by the visit. (Reporting by Ricardo Neto; Writing by David Lewis. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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