Sao Tome and Principe Political System

According to, with capital city of Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe is a country located in Central Africa with total population of 219,170.

Where is Sao Tome and Principe

State and politics

Having been a socialist one-party state from independence 1975 to 1990, during the 2000s, São Tomé and Príncipe developed into a relatively stable and well-functioning democracy.


A revised constitution that came into force in 2003 diminished the president’s previously extensive powers of power. The President has the executive power and is elected in general elections for five years; the head of state may sit for a maximum of two terms of office. The president is responsible to Parliament, appoints the government and is also commander-in-chief. However, the president is no longer entitled to veto amendments to the constitution. Due to disagreement between the President and Parliament when drafting the Constitution, it was decided as a compromise that São Tomé and Príncipe’s future governance would be decided in a 2006 referendum, but it has not yet been implemented.

According to the constitution, the laws are passed by the National Assembly, whose 55 members are elected in general elections for four years. The government, led by a prime minister, is responsible to both the president and the parliament. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how ST can stand for Sao Tome and Principe.


Multi-party system was introduced in 1990. It was until 1991 the state bearing the party, born out of colonial liberation movement, the Movimento de Libertação the São Tomé and Príncipe-Partido Social Democrata (Mlstp PSD) withdrew in the 1994 election the government of the Partido de Convergencia Democrática-Grupo de Reflexão (PCD -GR). After the 2001 presidential elections and the 2002 parliamentary elections, São Tomé and Príncipe had a difficult parliamentary situation with divided unity governments, often on collision course with the president. The unstable situation, and alleged corruption within the government, was taken in July 2003 as a pretext for a coup attempt while the President, Fradique de Menezes, was abroad. After almost a week, however, the couplers gave up, after being subjected to heavy pressure from the outside world.

In 2006, de Menezes was re-elected with 61 percent of the vote and in the parliamentary elections he got the closest alliance Movimento Democrático das Forças da Mudança-Partido da Convergência Democrática (MDFM-PCD) the most votes. However, political turmoil continued over the coming years. After the 2010 parliamentary elections, the opposition party Acção Democrática Independente (ADI) received 26 out of 55 seats and MLSTP-PSD 21. The following year, the battle for the presidential post was mainly between Manuel Pinto da Costa and Evaristo Carvalho, supported by ADI. Pinto da Costa, who was president from 1975-91, won the second round of elections and was able to return to the post he left 20 years earlier.

ADI strengthened its position in the 2014 parliamentary elections when the party gained its own majority with 33 out of 55 seats. Thus, Patrice Trovoada (born 1962), Prime Minister in 2008 and 2010-12, was able to take over as government head for the third time. The second largest was MLSTP-PSD with 16 parliamentary seats while PCD had to settle for five seats.

After the first round of presidential elections held in 2016, it was initially announced that former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho had received just over 50 percent of the vote, which would be enough to be elected. The Election Commission then changed Carvalho’s earnings to just under 50 percent. Pinto da Costa and Maria das Neves (born 1958), who was also prime minister, received about 25 percent of the vote each. They questioned the voting count and refused to stand in the second round, which is why Carvalho was elected without a candidate. Carvalho, like Trovoada, represents ADI, which was expected to significantly improve cooperation between the president and the prime minister.

However, since the end of 2018, the Prime Minister’s post is once again held by MLSTP-PSD. Although ADI became the largest party in the elections held in October 2018, MLSTP-PSD received almost as many seats (23 against 25). After both parties negotiated with smaller groups in parliament, President Carvalho gave the assignment to form government to Jorge Bom Jesus (born 1962).


The legal life of São Tomé and Príncipe is characterized by the Portuguese legal heritage. The death penalty was abolished in 1990.

Heads of State


1975-91 Manuel Pinto da Costa
1991-2001 Miguel Trovoada
2001-11 Fradique de Menezes
2011-16 Manuel Pinto da Costa
2016- Evaristo Carvalho