Fradique de Menezes

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Fradique de Menezes
3rd President of São Tomé and Príncipe
In office
23 July 2003 – 3 September 2011
Prime MinisterMaria das Neves
Damião Vaz d'Almeida
Maria do Carmo Silveira
Tomé Vera Cruz
Patrice Trovoada
Joaquim Rafael Branco
Patrice Trovoada
Preceded byFernando Pereira
Succeeded byManuel Pinto da Costa
In office
3 September 2001 – 16 July 2003
Prime MinisterGuilherme Posser da Costa
Evaristo Carvalho
Gabriel Costa
Maria das Neves
Preceded byMiguel Trovoada
Succeeded byFernando Pereira (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1942-03-21) 21 March 1942 (age 77)
São Tomé, Overseas Province of São Tomé and Príncipe, Portugal
Political partyForce for Change Democratic Movement-Liberal Party
Alma materFree University of Brussels

Fradique Bandeira Melo de Menezes (born March 21, 1942)[1] was the President of São Tomé and Príncipe from 2003 to 2011.

Early life[edit]

Menezes was born on the then Portuguese colony of São Tomé in 1942, the son of a Portuguese man and a local woman, he attended high school in Portugal. He then studied at the Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada in Lisbon, Portugal and Free University of Brussels.[1]


Menezes is a successful businessman, he was Foreign Minister of São Tome and Príncipe from 1986 until 1987. He was elected President in July 2001 with about 55.2% of the vote, defeating Manuel Pinto da Costa, who received about 40%.[2] Menezes took office on September 3, 2001,[3] his eligibility as a candidate was questioned, since he also held Portuguese citizenship, but he renounced this and his candidacy was approved.[4] On July 16, 2003, while he was away in Nigeria, there was a military coup d'etat led by Fernando Pereira, but Menezes was restored to power on July 23, 2003, following an agreement.[5]

Menezes was re-elected on July 30, 2006, winning 60.58% of the vote and defeating Patrice Trovoada, son of former president Miguel Trovoada.[2][6]

The discovery of a coup plot allegedly involving Christian Democratic Front leader Arlecio Costa was announced on February 12, 2009. Costa and more than 30 others were arrested. At a press conference on February 24, Menezes said that he was "touched" by the support of the security forces; he also said that he would be willing to leave office if he was "the reason that things are not working in this country".[7]

Menezes received World Peace Culture Award on 13 July 2002.


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b Elections in São Tomé and Príncipe, African Elections Database.
  3. ^ "New president sworn-in", IRIN, September 4, 2001.
  4. ^ "Fradique de Menezes new president on Sao Tomé", afrol News, August 6, 2001.
  5. ^ "Coup leaders hand power back to civilian president", IRIN, July 23, 2003.
  6. ^ "Incumbent wins vote", IRIN, August 2, 2006.
  7. ^ "Sao Tome leader 'still in charge'", AFP, February 25, 2009.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Maria do Nascimento da Graça Amorim
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Guilherme Posser da Costa
Preceded by
Miguel Trovoada
President of São Tomé and Príncipe
Succeeded by
Fernando Pereira
Preceded by
Fernando Pereira
President of São Tomé and Príncipe
Succeeded by
Manuel Pinto da Costa