Sao Tome and Principe profile

President: Manuel Pinto da Costa

Prime minister: Patrice Emery Trovoada

Sao Tome's president, Manuel Pinto da Costa President da Costa shares power with his prime minister

Former strongman Manuel Pinto da Costa returned to power in elections in 2011, two decades after losing office.

Mr Pinto da Costa ruled Sao Tome with an iron fist for 15 years after independence from Portugal in 1975, and observers warned his return to power could herald a slide towards authoritarianism.

He lost the presidency after introducing reforms in 1990, including multi-party democracy that saw the election as president of Miguel Trovoada.

Mr Pinto da Costa has a five-year mandate.

Under the democratic constitution adopted in 1990, the president shares power with a government headed by a prime minister, who needs the confidence of parliament to stay in power.

In October 2014, the opposition ADI party won parliamentary elections with an outright majority. Led by ex-prime minister Patrice Trovoada, the ADI won 33 of the 55 seats.

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