Portugal the Portuguese Republic, is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, its territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times; the pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. Portugal as a country was established during the Christian Reconquista against the Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128; the Kingdom of Portugal was proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and the European discovery of Brazil. During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil, a late industrialization compared to other European powers, erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime.
Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its overseas territories; the handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of what can be considered the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, many Portuguese-based creoles, it is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is placed in rankings of moral freedom, democracy, press freedom, social progress, LGBT rights. A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the word Portugal derives from the Roman-Celtic place name Portus Cale. Portus, the Latin word for port or harbour, Cala or Cailleach was the name of a Celtic goddess – in Scotland she is known as Beira – and the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal.
At the time the land of a specific people was named after its deity. Those names are the origins of the - gal in Galicia. Incidentally, the meaning of Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for port which would confirm old links to pre-Roman, Celtic languages which compare to today's Irish caladh or Scottish cala, both meaning port; some French scholars believe it may have come from ` Portus Gallus', the port of the Celts. Around 200 BC, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale incorporating it to the province of Gaellicia with capital in Bracara Augusta. During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale; the name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugallia or Portvgalliae was referred to as Portugal.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe. The name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale; the region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD. The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula; these were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing, it is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming differe
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
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
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
Gabon the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, the Gulf of Guinea to the west, it has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres and its population is estimated at 2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Since its independence from France in 1960, the sovereign state of Gabon has had three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 7th highest HDI and the fourth highest GDP per capita in the region. GDP grew by more than 6% per year from 2010 to 2012. However, because of inequality in income distribution, a significant proportion of the population remains poor.
Gabon's name originates from gabão, Portuguese for "cloak", the shape of the estuary of the Komo River by Libreville. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples, they were replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes as they migrated. In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived. By the 18th century, a Myeni speaking kingdom known as Orungu formed in Gabon. On February 10, 1722, Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate known as Black Bart, died at sea off Cape Lopez, he raided ships off the Americas and West Africa from 1719 to 1722. French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875, he founded the town of Franceville, was colonial governor. Several Bantu groups lived in the area, now Gabon when France occupied it in 1885. In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. In World War II, the Allies invaded Gabon in order to overthrow the pro-Vichy France colonial administration.
The territories of French Equatorial Africa became independent on August 17, 1960. The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba, with Omar Bongo Ondimba as his vice president. After M'ba's accession to power, the press was suppressed, political demonstrations banned, freedom of expression curtailed, other political parties excluded from power, the Constitution changed along French lines to vest power in the Presidency, a post that M'ba assumed himself. However, when M'ba dissolved the National Assembly in January 1964 to institute one-party rule, an army coup sought to oust him from power and restore parliamentary democracy. French paratroopers flew in within 24 hours to restore M'ba to power. After a few days of fighting, the coup ended and the opposition was imprisoned, despite widespread protests and riots. French soldiers still remain in the Camp de Gaulle on the outskirts of Gabon's capital to this day; when M'Ba died in 1967, Bongo replaced him as president. In March 1968, Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state by dissolving the BDG and establishing a new party—the Parti Democratique Gabonais.
He invited all Gabonese, regardless of previous political affiliation. Bongo sought to forge a single national movement in support of the government's development policies, using the PDG as a tool to submerge the regional and tribal rivalries that had divided Gabonese politics in the past. Bongo was elected President in February 1975. Bongo was November 1986 to 7-year terms. In early 1990 economic discontent and a desire for political liberalization provoked violent demonstrations and strikes by students and workers. In response to grievances by workers, Bongo negotiated with them on a sector-by-sector basis, making significant wage concessions. In addition, he promised to open up the PDG and to organize a national political conference in March–April 1990 to discuss Gabon's future political system; the PDG and 74 political organizations attended the conference. Participants divided into two loose coalitions, the ruling PDG and its allies, the United Front of Opposition Associations and Parties, consisting of the breakaway Morena Fundamental and the Gabonese Progress Party.
The April 1990 conference approved sweeping political reforms, including creation of a national Senate, decentralization of the budgetary process, freedom of assembly and press, cancellation of an exit visa requirement. In an attempt to guide the political system's transformation to multiparty democracy, Bongo resigned as PDG chairman and created a transitional government headed by a new Prime Minister, Casimir Oye-Mba; the Gabonese Social Democratic Grouping, as the resulting government was called, was smaller than the previous government and included representatives from several opposition parties in its cabinet. The RSDG drafted a provisional constitution in May 1990 that provided a basic bill of rights and an independent judiciary but retained strong executive powers for the president. After further review by a constitutional committee and the National Assembly, this document came into force in March 1991. Opposition to the PDG continued after the April 1990 conference, in September 1990, two coup d'état attempts were uncovered and aborted.
Despite anti-government demonstrations after the untimely death of an opposition leader, the first multiparty National Assembly elections in almo
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