Sao Tome and Principe

Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party


Published 12th July, 2011

The Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party or MLSTP/PSD is a left wing party formed in the early 1970s and was the driving force against Portuguese rule. With independence in 1975 it became the sole legal party and ruled alone for 15 years until a change in the constitution in 1990 introduced multi-party elections.

In the first of those multi-party elections in 1991 the party came second, taking 21 of the 55 seats in the National Assembly with 30.5% of the vote.

By 1994 the MLSTP/PSD were the largest party once more with 27 seats and 42.53%, and in 1998 they took 31 seats and 50.61%. However, their presidential candidate Manuel Pinta da Costa failed to win the 1996 election and he lost again in 2001.

The party dropped back in the 2002 general election, winning just 24 seats and in 2006 they dropped back to 20 seats; they recovered only slightly in the 2010 election where they took 21 seats with 32.81% of the vote and came second to the ADI.


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