São Tomé and Príncipe Update
"When President Menezes refused to accept Prime Minister Maria das Neves’resignation following the July 2003 coup, insisting on her re-appointment,many observers expected a period of political stability because the relationship between the two seemed to be a good one. Yet, the recent government crisis in STP has, once again, revealed that political instability is a persitent feature in the country. The struggle for power between the president and the government, the fact that the current coalition government has a fragile parliamentary basis, and the government’s internal disagreements and factional fighting constitute fertile ground for future political crisis and can easily lead to its collapse. Nevertheless, while political instability is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, another military coup has become highly unlikely. More likely, however, is the emergence of social unrest in various sectors of STP’s society due to a widening gap between a small rich elite and the impoverished majority of the population."