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Democratic Republic of Sao Tomé e Principe: Parties, influence groups and human rights

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Analysis of parties, influence groups and the human rights situation in Sao Tome e Principe.
    1. The system of multipartyism: Parties in general.
    2. Different political parties.
    3. The leaders.
    4. Civilian society.
    5. Human rights.
  3. Current situation.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Sources.

The islands of Sao Tomé and Principe were colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century and were then used as a slave trading point. Later in the 19th century they began to export cocoa. After the decolonization in 1951 the country finally came to independence in 1975. A one-party-regime was installed which built up strong relations with the socialist countries and governed the state until a democratic constitution was introduced peacefully in 1990. It then allowed opposition parties and as a consequence first multiparty elections took place in 1991 . Since then several elections were held and so far democracy does work at least better than in most of the other African countries. Today STP is one of the least developed countries of the world with a gross domestic product of 46.5 million dollars but an external debt of 250.8 million dollars . Therefore it is dependent on international aid and interested in getting money from wherever possible. Besides it belongs to the so called micro states, the group of the smallest existing countries and thus has to face certain problems.

[...] It follows more democratic ideals and among its members are a big number of professionals and higher-educated persons. Miguel Trovoada the first president of STP after 1991 is a member of the PCD-GR[9]. In 1992 they broke with president Trovoada who founded a new party with some of the former PCD-GR members which was called ADI. It is said that it maintained a cohesive leadership more capable of debating and formulating political and economic concerns and policy options, than other parties?. [...]

[...] Thus many international oil companies would like to benefit from the country and a little rush has begun. It is questionable if the country will earn a proportionate part of the prospective profit and if it will not be destabilised by the different interest groups competing about the oil. As it has been depicted the lack of money often is one of the reasons for problems in several fields. It leads to cronyism and corruption, bad living conditions and problems in making sure the implementation of human rights. [...]

[...] Civilian Society A small number of human rights groups does exist since 1991. A few unions and associations e.g. of small-scale land holders and fishermen exist. (Still trying to find out more but so far the sources are very poor Association of Women Entrepreneurs Human Rights The human rights situation is one of the best in Africa. The index of . ranks STP beyond the tree best states together with South Africa and Namibia. However human rights problems still exist. [...]

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