Príncipe is the smaller, northern major island of the country of São Tomé and Príncipe lying off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. It has an area of 136 square kilometres and a population of 7,324; the island is a eroded volcano speculated to be over three million years old, surrounded by smaller islands including Ilheu Bom Bom, Ilhéu Caroço, Tinhosa Grande and Tinhosa Pequena. Part of the Cameroon Line archipelago, Príncipe rises in the south to 947 metres at Pico do Príncipe; the island is the main constituent of the Autonomous Region of Príncipe, established in 1995, of the coterminous district of Pagué. The island was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese on 17 January 1471 and was first named after Saint Anthony; the island was renamed Príncipe by King John II of Portugal in honour of his son Afonso, Prince of Portugal. The first settlement, the town Santo António, was founded in 1502. Subsequently, the north and centre of the island were made into plantations by Portuguese colonists using slave labor.
These concentrated on producing sugar and after 1822 on cocoa, becoming the world's greatest cocoa producer. Since independence, these plantations have reverted to forest; the island's fortress named Fortaleza de Santo António da Ponta da Mina on a point inside Baía de Santo António was built in 1695. In 1706, the city and the fortress were destroyed by the French. From 1753 until 1852, Santo António was the colonial capital of Príncipe. Príncipe was the site where Einstein's theory of relativity was experimentally corroborated by Arthur Stanley Eddington and his team during the total solar eclipse of May 29, 1919. On April 29, 1995, the Autonomous Region of Príncipe was established, corresponding with the existing Pagué District. Príncipe has one town, Santo António, an airport; some other smaller settlements are Porto Real. Portuguese is the main language of the island. Portuguese creoles are spoken: Principense or Lunguyê and, in some scale, Forro are spoken. In 1771, Príncipe had a population of 5,850: 111 whites, 165 free mulattoes, 6 mulatto slaves, 900 free blacks, 4,668 black slaves.
In 1875, the year when slavery was abolished in the archipelago, Príncipe’s population had dropped to only 1,946, of whom 45 were Europeans, 1,521 were free natives, 380 were freemen. In 2006, the Parque Natural Obô do Príncipe was established, covering the mountainous, densely forested and uninhabited southern part of the island of Príncipe. There are numerous endemic species of fauna on Príncipe, including birds such as the Príncipe kingfisher, Principe seedeater, Principe starling, Príncipe sunbird, black-capped speirops, Dohrn's thrush-babbler, the Príncipe weaver and the Príncipe white-eye, geckos include the Príncipe gecko, frogs include the palm forest tree frog and the Phrynobatrachus dispar. Marine fauna includes a mollusc and the West African mud turtle. UNESCO established the Island of Príncipe Biosphere Reserve in 2012 under the Man and the Biosphere Programme; the reserve encompasses the entire emerged area of the island of Príncipe, its islets Bom Bom, Boné do Jóquei, Mosteiros and Pedra da Galei, the Tinhosas islands.
Damião Vaz d'Almeida, former Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe João Paulo Cassandra, former autonomous president of the island José Cassandra, current president of the island Sara Pinto Coelho, colonial born Portuguese writer Camilo Domingos, singer Manuela Margarido, writer Map of Príncipe Principe portal "Príncipe: a haven on earth" Financial Times Wikimedia Atlas of São Tomé and Príncipe Sao Tome and Principe travel guide from Wikivoyage Príncipe at Curlie
Proportional representation characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party roughly n% of seats will be won by that party; the essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats; the most used families of PR electoral systems are party list PR, the single transferable vote, mixed member proportional representation. With party list PR, political parties define candidate voters vote for a list; the relative vote for each list determines how many candidates from each list are elected. Lists can be "closed" or "open".
Voting districts can be as large as a province or an entire nation. The single transferable vote uses small multiple-member districts, with voters ranking individual candidates in order of preference. During the count, as candidates are elected or eliminated, surplus or discarded votes that would otherwise be wasted are transferred to other candidates according to the preferences. STV enables voters to elect independent candidates. Mixed member proportional representation called the additional member system, is a two-tier mixed electoral system combining a non-proportional plurality/majoritarian election and a compensatory regional or national party list PR election. Voters have two votes, one for their single-member district and one for the party list, the party list vote determining the balance of the parties in the elected body. According to the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, some form of proportional representation is used for national lower house elections in 94 countries. Party list PR, being used in 85 countries, is the most used.
MMP is used in seven lower houses. STV, despite long being advocated by political scientists, is used in only two: Ireland, since independence in 1922, Malta, since 1921; as with all electoral systems, both accepted and opposing claims are made about the advantages and disadvantages of PR. The case for proportional representation was made by John Stuart Mill in his 1861 essay Considerations on Representative Government: In a representative body deliberating, the minority must of course be overruled, but does it follow that the minority should have no representatives at all?... Is it necessary that the minority should not be heard? Nothing but habit and old association can reconcile any reasonable being to the needless injustice. In a equal democracy, every or any section would be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of the representatives, but a minority of the electors would always have a minority of the representatives.
Man for man, they would be as represented as the majority. Unless they are, there is not equal government... There is a part whose fair and equal share of influence in the representation is withheld from them, contrary to all just government, above all, contrary to the principle of democracy, which professes equality as its root and foundation. Many academic political theorists agree with Mill, that in a representative democracy the representatives should represent all segments of society. PR tries to resolve the unfairness of majoritarian and plurality voting systems where the largest parties receive an "unfair" "seat bonus" and smaller parties are disadvantaged and have difficulty winning any representation at all; the established parties in UK elections can win formal control of the parliament with as little as 35% of votes. In certain Canadian elections, majority governments have been formed by parties with the support of under 40% of votes cast. If turnout levels in the electorate are less than 60%, such outcomes allow a party to form a majority government by convincing as few as one quarter of the electorate to vote for it.
In the 2005 UK election, for example, the Labour Party under Tony Blair won a comfortable parliamentary majority with the votes of only 21.6% of the total electorate. Such misrepresentation has been criticized as "no longer a question of'fairness' but of elementary rights of citizens". Note intermediate PR systems with a high electoral threshold, or other features that reduce proportionality, are not much fairer: in the Turkish general election, 2002, using an open list system with a 10% threshold, 46% of votes were wasted. Plurality/majoritarian systems can disproportionately benefit regional parties that can win districts where they have a strong following, while other parties with national support but no strongholds, like the Greens, win few or no seats. An example is the Bloc Québécois in Canada that won 52 seats in the 1993 federal election, all in Quebec, on 13.5% of the national vote, while the Progressive Conservatives collapsed to two seats on 16% spread nationally. In the 2015 UK General Election, the Scottish National Party gained 56 seats, all in Sc
The Santomean passport is issued to citizens of São Tomé and Príncipe for international travel. As of 1 January 2018, Santomean citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 58 countries and territories, ranking the Santomean passport 77th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index. Visa requirements for Santomean citizens List of passports
2011 São Toméan presidential election
A presidential election was held in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2011, the first round beginning on 17 July 2011 with a run-off held on 7 August 2011. Incumbent President Fradique de Menezes has served the maximum two terms and could not constitutionally seek a third term; the final result saw former president Manuel Pinto da Costa, aged 74, elected in a narrow victory against Speaker of Parliament Evaristo Carvalho. The first round was contested by 120 candidates; the candidate from President de Menezes' party, Force for Change Democratic Movement–Liberal Party, was Delfim Neves, who jointly represented the MDFM–PL and his own Democratic Convergence Party. Pinto da Costa, who ran independently, won the most votes but failed to receive the majority required to claim an outright victory. Carvalho, of the ruling party Independent Democratic Action, a former prime minister and the incumbent Speaker of the National Assembly, placed second. A run-off to be contested between Pinto da Costa and Carvalho was announced on the same day.
Pinto da Costa received the backing of the majority of eliminated candidates, he was expected to win comfortably. Pinto da Costa won the runoff, held 7 August, by five percentage points, he is scheduled to remain as president for a term of five years. Manuel Pinto da Costa served as São Tomé and Príncipe's first president from independence in 1975, he governed the islands as a one-party socialist state under the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe. In 1991, the legalisation of opposition political parties led to the country's first election under a democratic system. Pinto da Costa was not a candidate in that election and instead announced he would retire from politics; the MLSTP did not present an alternative candidate and Miguel Trovoada was elected unopposed. Despite his previous declaration, Pinto da Costa returned to participate in the presidential elections of 1996, but was narrowly defeated by Trovoada. In 2001, he ran against incumbent president Fradique de Menezes, was again unsuccessful.
Pinto da Costa resigned from the MLSTP in 2005. The party is led by Aurélio Martins, who placed sixth in the first round vote count. Other major candidates included former prime minister Maria das Neves and former defence minister Elsa Pinto, both independents. Pinto da Costa's main rival, represented the ADI, which won the parliamentary elections in August 2010 and is the ruling party of incumbent Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada. A total of 92,639 citizens were registered to vote. In the first round, the national electoral commission, headed by Victor Correia, recorded a turnout of 68%. Of the 120 candidates, Da Costa and Carvalho won the most votes, but neither candidate received enough support to claim a majority. Delfim Neves and Maria das Neves both won substantial vote counts, but only the first two placeholders went through to the run-off. After the results were confirmed, most of the eliminated candidates, including Delfim Neves, Maria das Neves and Aurélio Martins, endorsed da Costa's bid for the run-off.
Missions from the African Union, Community of Portuguese Language Countries and the Economic Community of Central African States sent observers to monitor the election, declared free and fair. The only major controversy observed was a boycott by around 30,000 from five small villages on São Tomé's northern shore, in protest over grievances with living conditions that had not been addressed; the polls were re-opened in these villages on 20 July. Several analysts have raised concerns that Pinto da Costa's victory may trigger a return to the authoritarian rule seen during his previous period in power. Pinto da Costa's campaign website
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, about 140 kilometres apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Gabon, respectively; the islands were uninhabited until their discovery by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. Colonised and settled by the Portuguese throughout the 16th century, they collectively served as a vital commercial and trade center for the Atlantic slave trade; the rich volcanic soil and close proximity to the Equator made São Tomé and Príncipe ideal for sugar cultivation, followed by cash crops such as coffee and cocoa. Cycles of social unrest and economic instability throughout the 19th and 20th centuries culminated in peaceful independence in 1975. São Tomé and Príncipe has since remained one of Africa's most democratic countries. With a population of 199,910, São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest African sovereign state after Seychelles, as well as the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.
Its people are predominantly with most practising Roman Catholicism. The legacy of Portuguese rule is visible in the country's culture and music, which fuse European and African influences. São Tomé and Príncipe is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited when the Portuguese arrived sometime around 1470. The islands were discovered by João de Pêro Escobar. Portuguese navigators explored the islands and decided that they would be good locations for bases to trade with the mainland; the dates of discovery are sometimes given as 21 December 1471, for São Tomé. Príncipe was named Santo Antão, changing its name in 1502 to Ilha do Príncipe, in reference to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid; the first successful settlement of São Tomé was established in 1493 by Álvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. Príncipe was settled in 1500 under a similar arrangement.
Attracting settlers proved difficult and most of the earliest inhabitants were "undesirables" sent from Portugal Jews. In time these settlers found the volcanic soil of the region suitable for agriculture the growing of sugar. By 1515, São Tomé and Príncipe had become slave depots for the coastal slave trade centered at Elmina; the cultivation of sugar was a labour-intensive process and the Portuguese began to enslave large numbers of Africans from the mainland. By the mid-16th century the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa's foremost exporter of sugar. São Tomé and Príncipe were taken over and administered by the Portuguese crown in 1522 and 1573, respectively. However, competition from sugar-producing colonies in the Western Hemisphere began to hurt the islands; the large enslaved population proved difficult to control, with Portugal unable to invest many resources in the effort. Sugar cultivation thus declined over the next 100 years, by the mid-17th century, the economy of São Tomé had changed.
It was now a transit point for ships engaged in the slave trade between the West and continental Africa. In the early 19th century, two new cash crops and cocoa, were introduced; the rich volcanic soils proved well suited to the new cash crop industry, soon extensive plantations, owned by Portuguese companies or absentee landlords, occupied all of the good farmland. By 1908, São Tomé had become the world's largest producer of cocoa, which remains the country's most important crop; the roças system, which gave the plantation managers a high degree of authority, led to abuses against the African farm workers. Although Portugal abolished slavery in 1876, the practice of forced paid labour continued. Scientific American magazine documented in words and pictures the continued use of slaves in São Tomé in its 13 March 1897 issue. In the early 20th century, an internationally publicized controversy arose over charges that Angolan contract workers were being subjected to forced labour and unsatisfactory working conditions.
Sporadic labor unrest and dissatisfaction continued well into the 20th century, culminating in an outbreak of riots in 1953 in which several hundred African laborers were killed in a clash with their Portuguese rulers. This "Batepá Massacre" remains a major event in the colonial history of the islands, its anniversary is observed by the government. By the late 1950s, when other emerging nations across the African Continent demanded their independence, a small group of São Toméans had formed the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe, which established its base in nearby Gabon. Picking up momentum in the 1960s, events moved after the overthrow of the Caetano dictatorship in Portugal in April 1974; the new Portuguese regime was committed to the dissolution of its overseas colonies. In November 1974, their representatives met with the MLSTP in Algiers and worked out an agreement for the transfer of sovereignty. After a period of transitional government, São Tomé and Príncipe achieved independence on 12 July 1975, choosing as the first president the MLSTP Secretary General
Visa policy of São Tomé and Príncipe
Visitors to São Tomé and Príncipe must obtain a visa online or from one of the diplomatic missions of São Tomé and Príncipe prior to arrival unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries. Citizens of the following 55 countries can visit São Tomé and Príncipe without a visa for up to 15 days: Holders of diplomatic or service passports and passports for public affairs of China do not require a visa for 30 days. Holders of normal passports issued by China, Hong Kong, Macau may obtain a visa upon arrival valid for 15 days. Nationals of countries that require a visa may obtain online through an eVisaST system. An eVisa is processed within 7 working days. Holders of a visa or resident permit issued by the United States or a Schengen area member state do not require a visa for stays up to 15 days. Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country on the same calendar day; the passengers must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.
Visa requirements for Santomean citizens
Districts of São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe is divided into seven administrative districts since 1980. Six are located on the main island of São Tomé. Since 1995, the Pagué District has been replaced by the Autonomous Region of Príncipe. List of cities and towns in São Tomé and Príncipe