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First Freely Elected Government Takes Office

February 8, 1991

SAO TOME, Sao Tome e Principe (AP) _ The first freely elected government has taken office in this former Portugese colony off the western coast of Africa.

New Prime Minister Daniel Daio on Thursday chose a Cabinet mostly from the ranks of his Democratic Convergence Party, which won a resounding victory Jan. 20 in the first multiparty elections in the two-island nation of 125,000 people.

Sao Tome e Principe, covering 390 square miles and straddling the equator in the Atlantic Ocean off Gabon, had been ruled by a single-party leftist regime since independence in 1975.

Daio said his provisional administration will govern until the freely elected parliament sits for the first time next month.

Sao Tome e Principe is the second of five former Portuguese colonies in Africa to abandon Marxist systems adopted in the mid-1970s.

The people of Cape Verde voted Jan. 13 to oust the party that ruled them for 15 years.

Governments in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau have agreed to make similar reforms.

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