In late 1989, the MLSTP leadership initiated a discussion on
reforming the party's statutes and the country's
constitution. In March 1990, the National Assembly adopted a
number of additions to the Constitution to be confirmed by a
referendum. The changes enabled the transition to a
political system with the participation of several different
political parties and independent candidates in the
parliamentary elections. At the same time, presidents were
limited to a maximum of 2 terms of 5 years.
The first parliamentary elections after independence were
held in January 1991. The opposition party Democratic
Convergence led by Leonel d'Alva won the election. In March,
former Prime Minister Miguel Trovoada returned from his
exile and met no opposition at the subsequent presidential
The heads of state of the former Portuguese colonies in
Africa - Sao Tomé & Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau,
Mozambique and Angola - met in March 1992. Having been
organized as one-party states since independence, they have
now undergone all rapid political change and liberalization
of the economy.
the country's economic and social situation has subsequently
deteriorated as a result of the economic crisis program that
the IMF and the World Bank have forced it to implement.
Public sector wages were frozen, a third of 5,000 public
servants were fired and the currency devalued by 80%.
Inflation fell, but at the same time, 4 times the prices of
basic consumer goods and unemployment reached 30%.
The island of Príncipe gained self-government on April
29, 1995 and formed a local government with 5 members.
In August, a group of officers took power in a bloodless
coup. Immediate negotiations were initiated with regard to.
the reinstatement of the legal government.
In September 1996, the National Assembly gave Prime
Minister Armindo Vaz D'Almeida a vote of no confidence for
"poor leadership, inefficiency, irresponsibility and
corruption". He had held the post since December 31 of the
year in advance.
Miguel Trovoada was re-elected President in July 1996,
and in November he proposed Raul Bragança Neto appointed new
Sao Tome's economy was doing well in 1997 thanks to
international aid: 60% of the state budget came from aid,
especially from Europe. The European Development Fund
financed a program for job creation and the creation of