Human dignity, Reference to country's history, Preamble, Motives for writing constitution
During five centuries the Sao Tomean People were locked in a hard and heroic struggle against colonial domination for the liberty of their occupied Country, for the conquest of Sovereignty and National Independence, for the restoration of their usurped rights and for the reaffirmation of their human dignity and African character.
On 12th July, 1975, under the enlightened direction of the Liberation Movement of S. Tome and Principe - M.L.S.T.P, the Sao Tomean People attained their National Independence and proclaimed before Africa and all Humanity the Democratic Republic of S. Tome and Principe. That victory, the greatest of our History only was possible thanks to the sacrifices and to the determination of valiant sons of S. Tome and Principe who, for centuries, always resisted the colonial presence, and in 1960 organized themselves in C.L.S.T.P. and later on, in 1972 in M.L.S.T.P., until achieving the supreme objective of national liberation.
With the proclamation of National Independence, the Representative Assembly of the S. Tomean People entrusted to the Political Bureau of the M.L.S.T.P., through a stipulation in the 3rd Article of the Fundamental Law then approved, the heavy responsibility of, as the highest political organ of the Nation, assuming the leadership of the society and of the State in S. Tome and Principe, targeting the noble objective of guaranteeing independence and national unity, through the building of a Democratic State in accordance with the maximum plan of the M.L.S.T.P.
Fifteen years later and after deep analysis of the experience of legitimate exercise of power by M.L.S.T.P., the Central Committee in its session of December, 1989, faithful to the patriotic duty of promoting the balanced and harmonious development of S. Tome and Principe, decided to sanction formally the just national aspirations, expressed during the National Conference, of 5th to 8th December of 1989, in the sense of opening the necessary space to the participation of other politically organized forces, with a view toward broadening democracy, for the modernization of S. Tome and Principe.
Inspired by the historic necessity of promoting increasingly broader and responsible participation of the citizen in the various dominions of the national life, this present revision to the constitutional text, in addition to consecrating the principle that the monopoly of power does not constitute by itself alone sufficient guarantee of progress, represents the collective will of the Sao Tomeans in giving their share of contribution to the universality of the fundamental rights and liberties of Man.
In these terms, after approval by the National Popular Assembly, exercising the powers conferred upon it and contained in Line i of Article 32, and ratification by Popular Referendum, as provided in no. 2 of Article 70, all of the Constitution, in effect, I promulgate the following Constitution:
PART I. Principles and Objectives
Reference to fraternity/solidarity, Type of government envisioned
Article 1. Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a sovereign and independent State, pledged to the building of a free, just and interdependent society, to the defense of the Rights of Man and to the active solidarity among all men and all peoples.
Article 2. National Identity
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe guarantees the Sao Tomean national identity and encompasses every and any Sao Tomean resident within or outside its territory.
Requirements for birthright citizenship
Article 3. Sao Tomean Citizenship
Sao Tomean citizens are all those born in national territory, the children of a Sao Tomean father or mother and those who may be considered such by the Law.
Article 4. National Territory
- The territory of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is comprised of the Islands of Sao Tome and Principe, of the Islets of Rolas, Cabras, Bombom, Bone Jockey, Pedras Tinhosas and other adjacent islets, by the territorial sea within a circle of twelve miles beginning at the base line determined by the Law, by archipelagic waters situated within the interior of the base line and the air space which extends over the combined territory as previously defined.
- The Sao Tomean State exercises its sovereignty over all of the national territory, the subsoil of the land space, the bottom and the subsoil of the aquatic territory formed by the territorial sea and the archipelagic waters, as well as the living and nonliving natural resources which may be found in all the aforementioned spaces and those existing in the overlying waters next to the coasts, outside the territorial sea, to the extent the law determines and in conformity with International Law.
Article 5. Unitary State
- The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a unitary State, without prejudice to the existence of local governments.
The Capital of the Republic is the city of S. Tome.
Article 6. State of Democratic Law
- The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a State of democratic Law, based on the fundamental rights of the human being.
Claim of universal suffrage, Secret ballot
Political power belongs to the people who exercise it through universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage under the terms of the Constitution.
Article 7. Justice and legality
The State of democratic Law implies the safeguard of justice and legality as fundamental values of collective life.
Separation of church and state
Article 8. Lay State
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a lay State, within it existing a separation of the State with respect to all religious Institutions.
Article 9. State of Mixed Economy
- The economic organization of Sao Tome and Principe rests on the principle of a mixed economy, having in view national independence, development and social justice.
- The coexistence of public property, cooperative property and private property of means of production is guaranteed within the terms of the law.
Article 10. Prime Objectives of the State
Prime Objectives of the State are:
- Guarantee the national independence;
- Promote respect and the becoming effective of personal, economic, social, cultural and political rights of the citizens;
Protection of environment
Preserve the harmonious balance of nature and of the environment.
Article 11. National Defense
- Responsibility for the National Defense rests with the State.
- The National Defense has as essential objectives the guaranteeing of the national independence, the territorial integrity, the respect for democratic institutions.
- A special law will regulate its form of organization.
Article 12. International Relations
- The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is determined to contribute toward the safeguarding of universal peace, toward the establishment of equal rights and mutual respect for sovereignty among all the States and toward the social progress of humanity, on the basis of the principles of international law and peaceful coexistence.
International organizations, International human rights treaties
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe proclaims its adherence to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man and to its principles and objectives of the Organization of African Unity and of the United Nations Organization.
Article 13. National Symbols
The National Flag consists of three horizontal bars, being green and those of the extremes of equal width, and the middle, in which are affixed two five-pointed black stars, yellow, being one and one-half times larger than each of the others and by a scarlet triangle, whose base is located on the left side of the Flag. The height of the triangle is half that of the base.
The National Anthem is "TOTAL INDEPENDENCE."
- The insignia consists of the figure of a falcon to the left and a parrot to the right, separated by an ovular-form coat of arms, whose vertical abscissa is of a dimension 0.33 times larger than the horizontal and in whose interior a palm tree is featured along the vertical abscissa.
PART VI. Constitutional Revision
Constitution amendment procedure
Article 122. Time and initiative of the revision
- The Constitution may be revised at any time, by initiative of three-quarters of the Deputies to the National Assembly in exercise of their functions.
- The project of review names the constitutional principles to be reviewed and the meaning of the amendments to be introduced.
Constitution amendment procedure
Article 123. Approval of the amendments
- Any amendment of the Constitution is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Deputies to the National Assembly in exercise of the Deputies in exercise of their functions.
The National Assembly may propose to the President of the Republic the subjection of any amendment to popular referendum.
The Ordinance of the M.L.S.T.P. as a Political Organization is recognized independently of the formalities demanded by the law, as per Item 2 of Article 62.
The mandate of the President of the Republic and of the National Popular Assembly in effect as of the date of publication of the present Constitution, is considered implicitly extended until the holding of the new elections.
Legislation in force on the date of National Independence remains transitorily in effect in all that may not be contrary to the present Constitution and to the remaining laws of the Republic.
The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of S. Tome and Principe has the date of its approval in joint session of the Political Bureau of the M.L.S.T.P. and the Constituent Assembly of 5th November of 1975, published in the Diario da Republica no. 39, of 15th December of 1975.
The First Text of the Constitutional Law no. 1/80, published in the Diario da Republica no. 7, of 7th February - First Constitutional revision.
The Second Text of the Constitutional Law no. 2/82 published in the Diario da Republica no. 35, of 31st December of 1982. - Second Constitutional revision.
Constitutional Amendment Law no. 1/87, of 31st December - published in the Fourth Supplement to the Diario da Republica no. 13, of 31st December of 1987. - Third Constitutional revision.
Third Text of the Constitutional Law no. 7/90 - published in the Diario da Republica no. 13 of 20th September of 1990 - Fourth Constitutional Revision.