Politics of São Tomé and Príncipe

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politics and government of
São Tomé and Príncipe
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The politics of São Tomé and Príncipe takes place in a framework of a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of São Tomé and Príncipe is head of state and the Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. São Tomé has functioned under a multiparty system since 1990. Following the promulgation of a new constitution in 1990, São Tomé and Príncipe held multiparty elections for the first time since independence. Shortly after the constitution took effect, the National Assembly formally legalized opposition parties. Independent candidates also were permitted to participate in the January 1991 legislative elections.

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Evaristo Carvalho Independent Democratic Action 3 September 2016
Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus MLSTP/PSD 3 December 2018

The president of the republic is elected to a five-year term by direct universal suffrage and a secret ballot, and may hold up to two consecutive terms. Candidates are chosen at their party's national conference (or individuals may run independently). A presidential candidate must obtain an outright majority of the popular vote in either a first or second round of voting in order to be elected president. The prime minister is named by the president but must be ratified by the majority party and thus normally comes from a list of its choosing. The prime minister, in turn, names the 14 members of the cabinet.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly (Assembleia Nacional) has 55 members, elected for a four-year term in seven multi-member constituencies by proportional representation. It is the supreme organ of the state and the highest legislative body, and meets semiannually.

Political parties and elections

Presidential elections

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Evaristo CarvalhoIndependent Democratic Action34,52249.8841,820100.00
Manuel Pinto da CostaIndependent17,18824.83
Maria das NevesMLSTP/PSD16,82824.31
Manuel do RosárioIndependent4780.69
Hélder BarrosIndependent1940.28
Valid votes69,21096.7641,82081.64
Invalid/blank votes2,3143.249,40618.36
Total votes71,524100.0051,226100.00
Registered voters/turnout111,22264.31111,22246.06
Source: Téla Nón, Téla Nón

Parliamentary elections

Party Votes % Seats +/−
Independent Democratic Action 32,805 41.81 25 –8
MLSTP/PSD 31,634 40.32 23 +7
PCDMDFMUDD 7,451 9.50 5 –1
MCISTP 1,659 2.11 2 New
People's Strength Party 823 1.05 0 New
Social Democratic Movement/Green Party 499 0.64 0 0
Party for All Santomerese 224 0.29 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 3,236
Total 78,456 100 55 0
Registered voters/turnout 97,274 80.65
Source: CEN

Judicial branch

Justice is administered at the highest level by the Supreme Court of São Tomé and Príncipe. Formerly responsible to the National Assembly, the judiciary is now independent under the new constitution.

Ordem dos Advogados de São Tomé e Príncipe

As for the legal profession, the São Tomé and Príncipe Lawyers Association (Ordem dos Advogados de São Tomé e Príncipe) was created in 2006. However, there is no clear indication as to how certain demographic groups, such as women, have fared in the legal field.[1]

List of Bastonários

Administrative divisions

Administratively, the country is divided into seven municipal districts, six on São Tomé and one comprising Príncipe. Governing councils in each district maintain a limited number of autonomous decision-making powers, and are reelected every 5 years. Príncipe has had self-government since 29 April 1995

Human rights and democracy

Since the constitutional reforms of 1990 and the elections of 1991, São Tomé and Príncipe has made great strides toward developing its democratic institutions and further guaranteeing the civil and human rights of its citizens. São Toméans have freely changed their government through peaceful and transparent elections, and while there have been disagreements and political conflicts within the branches of government and the National Assembly, the debates have been carried out and resolved in open, democratic, and legal fora, in accordance with the provisions of São Toméan law. A number of political parties actively participate in government and openly express their views. Freedom of the press is respected, and there are several independent newspapers in addition to the government bulletin. The government's respect for human rights is exemplary; the government does not engage in repressive measures against its citizens, and respect for individuals' rights to due process and protection from government abuses is widely honored. Freedom of expression is accepted, and the government has taken no repressive measures to silence critics.

A briefly successful coup d'état led by Major Fernando "Cobo" Pereira took place on 16 July 2003.[11]

International organization participation

The country is member of the ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CEEAC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, United Nations, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, World Tourism Organization, World Trade Organization (applicant)


  1. ^ "OASTP - Ordem dos Advogados de São Tomé e Príncipe". oastp.st. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  2. ^ "Morre 1º bastonário santomense Dr. Edmar Carvalho | São Tomé e Príncipe". Scoop.it. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  3. ^ Anuário do Direito de São Tomé e Príncipe 2016/2017. Instituto do Direito de Língua Portuguesa. 2017.
  4. ^ "SIC Notícias | São Tomé e Príncipe: Bastonário da Ordem dos Advogados quer reformas profundas na justiça". SIC Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  5. ^ "São Tomé: Novo bastonário da Ordem de Advogados eleito em São Tomé e Príncipe - África - Angola Press - ANGOP". ANGOP (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  6. ^ a b Nón, Téla (2017-03-24). "Célia Posser toma posse hoje como Bastonária da Ordem dos Advogados". Téla Nón (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  7. ^ Posser, Celia (2017). "Ilustres Colegas Advogadas e advogados" (PDF). OASTP.
  8. ^ Nón, Téla (2014-02-21). "André Aragão é o novo bastonário da Ordem dos Advogados". Téla Nón (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  9. ^ "São Tomé e Príncipe: Bastonário da Ordem de Advogados apreensivo com a paralisação nos tribunais - África - Angola Press - ANGOP". ANGOP (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  10. ^ Neto, Ricardo (2017-03-29). "Jurista Célia Posser empossada bastonária da ordem dos advogados são-tomenses". STP-PRESS (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2003-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

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