The Government and Political System in Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome and Principe’s political structure takes form in a semi-presidential representative and democratic republic. A semi-presidential platform of government means that the president and prime ministers are active players and both have important powers to exercise. Commonly, a government with a designated prime minister makes the president just a decorative title, but in Sao Tome and Principe, a president is more than just a figure head, it is vested with more powers and political clout.
The president of Sao Tome and Principe is an elected position and gets a mandate of 5 years once elected. The constitution of this African state allows only a person to serve two consecutive terms.
The Prime Minister, as head of government, is also chair to the Council of Ministers, who has the task of administering the country’s government operations. The Prime Minister is accountable to the President and to the National Assembly should ever a constitutional provision have been violated.
The legislative body of Sao Tome and Principe is housed under a unicameral body. There are 55 seats up for grabs every four years. To be a representative of the National Assembly, one must be allied with any of the 7 political parties, which in turn are elected. Because Sao Tome and Principe uses the proportional representation method, the party with the most votes gets the majority leadership in the floor, and the seats reserved to them will be proportional, of course, to the votes they got during the election. Perhaps the most important power that is vested in the assembly is the selection of the Prime Minister. So, most like, the Prime Minister would come from the party that has won the most seats. The judiciary of the country used to be accountable to the National Assembly but now is an independent branch of the government as per revisions of the latest constitution. As is most the case, the Supreme Court has the final irrevocable decision on legal matters.