Concept

Manuel Pinto da Costa

Summary
Manuel Pinto da Costa (born 5 August 1937) is a Santomean economist and politician who served as the first president of São Tomé and Príncipe from 1975 to 1991. He again served as president from 2011 to 2016. Life and career Educated in East Germany, he is fluent in Portuguese and German. Until the early 1990s the MLSTP maintained extensive relations with Angola and the MPLA, with Pinto da Costa himself having enjoyed a friendly relationship with José Eduardo dos Santos, the President of Angola, extending back to when they were both young men. In 1991, the legalisation of opposition political parties led to the country's first election under a democratic system. Pinto da Costa did not contest the election and instead announced he would retire from politics. The MLSTP did not present an alternative candidate and Miguel Trovoada was elected unopposed. Despite his previous declaration, Pinto da Costa returned to contest elections in 1996, but was narrowly defeated, taking 47.26
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