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Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe has experienced 15 years of one-party rule and, starting with a new constitution in 1990, 26 years of fast-moving multiparty competition marked by frequent changes in government and two attempted coups.

August 2016 brought another transition with the election of former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho as president over incumbent and former strongman leader Manuel Pinto da Costa.

The country’s distinctive politics reflect complex constitutional mandates for power-sharing and separation of executive powers between president and prime minister.

Afrobarometer’s first survey in the island nation, in 2015, suggests that after more than two decades of multiparty politics, São Toméans are only moderately supportive of democracy and largely dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in their country.