Freedom of religion prevails and is generally respected by the authorities. Christianity is the dominant religion. The majority of Christians are Catholics.
The data goes beyond what proportion of the population is Catholic. The Catholic Church office in the country states that about 85 percent of residents are Catholics and 12 percent are Protestants. Other sources indicate lower figures for the proportion of Catholics: 56–70 percent.
Some elements of African traditional religions are still alive and mixed with Christianity.
The number of Muslims has increased in the last decade after immigration from Nigeria, Cameroon and other African countries. Now, the proportion of Muslims is estimated at 2 percent.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Sao Tome and Principe, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Diplomatic relations with China
São Tomé and Príncipe break with Taiwan and establish diplomatic relations with China. Foreign Minister Urbino Botelho explains the decision with the words “we must recognize that China is playing an increasingly important role internationally”. In the wake of diplomatic relations, cooperation programs of various kinds are established.
The state administration is losing weight
Prime Minister Trovoada is reshaping his government and reducing the number of ministries from 13 to 11 to save money.
Presidential election with a candidate
9th of August
Former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho of ADI wins the presidential election without a counterpart since Pinto da Costa resigned. The turnout is only 46 percent. Prime Minister Trovoada from the same party says that Carvalho’s victory means that the country will have a more stable regime with better relations between the president and the prime minister as they now belong to the same party. According to the constitution, the executive power is divided between these two institutions, which led to severe wear and tear during periods when they belonged to rival parties.
The President jumps off
President Pinto da Costa refuses to stand in the second round of the presidential election, as he believes the electoral process has not gone right. He demands that the first round of elections (see July 2016) be annulled, which the Constitutional Court rejects.
Presidential elections require second rounds
In the presidential election, the incumbent Pinto da Costa is running as an independent candidate. Of four contenders, former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho of ADI is considered to have the greatest chance of profit. The Election Commission first proclaims Carvalho victors with 50.1 percent of the vote, but then revises the result with the explanation that foreign votes and delayed results from a district mean that no candidate gets more than 50 percent, which is required for victory in the first round. Profit for Carvalho changes to 49.9 percent, while Pinto da Costa and former Prime Minister Maria das Neves receive just over 24 percent each. Both Pinto da Costa and Maria das Neves question voting.
Oil cooperation with Equatorial Guinea
São Tomé and Príncipe start a collaboration with Equatorial Guinea with the aim of jointly extracting oil in an area at the common sea border.