September has been an eventful month for the island nation of São Tomé and Principe. Firstly, 5 September marked the second round of their presidential election, with a runoff between Guilherme Posser da Costa of the previous ruling party, MLSTP-PSD, and eventual winner Carlos Vila Nova of the ADI.
With observers noting a “peaceful and calm environment” the campaign centered on response to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns of its spread on the island as well as a uniform disparagement of corruption on the island and practices of vote buying. With gatherings banned and mandatory social distancing, the campaign and election had a notably muted atmosphere about it with generally good conduct throughout the process and no issues to note.
Carlos Vila Nova announced his victory as soon as it was apparent, which was accepted by his opponent and the wider community. Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus as well as the presidents of Angola and Portugal congratulated him on his victory. A former Minister of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and the Environment, Vila Nova was inaugurated on 2 October 2021.
In addition to the presidential election, September marked another important milestone for São Toméans as, by the end of the month, it was announced that 10% of the country had been vaccinated against COVID-19, a first step hailed by the UN and the WHO as a huge achievement, making it one of only 16 African nations that have met this target.