Fradique de Menezes

Fradique Bandeira Melo de Menezes (born March 21, 1942)[1] is a São Toméan politician who was the third president of São Tomé and Príncipe from 2001 to 2011.

Fradique de Menezes
3rd President of São Tomé and Príncipe
In office
July 23, 2003 – September 3, 2011
Prime MinisterMaria das Neves
Damião Vaz d'Almeida
Maria do Carmo Silveira
Tomé Vera Cruz
Patrice Trovoada
Joaquim Rafael Branco
Patrice Trovoada
Preceded byFernando Pereira (acting)
Succeeded byManuel Pinto da Costa
In office
September 3, 2001 – July 16, 2003
Prime MinisterGuilherme Posser da Costa
Evaristo Carvalho
Gabriel Costa
Maria das Neves
Preceded byMiguel Trovoada
Succeeded byFernando Pereira (acting)
Personal details
Born (1942-03-21) March 21, 1942 (age 81)
São Tomé, Overseas Province of São Tomé and Príncipe, Portugal
Political partyForce for Change Democratic Movement-Liberal Party
Alma materFree University of Brussels

Early lifeEdit

Menezes was born on the then Portuguese colony of São Tomé in 1942, the son of a Portuguese man and a local woman. He attended high school in Portugal. He then studied at the Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada in Lisbon, Portugal and Free University of Brussels.[1]


Menezes is a businessman. He was Foreign Minister of São Tome and Príncipe from 1986 until 1987. He was elected President in July 2001 with about 55.2% of the vote, defeating Manuel Pinto da Costa, who received about 40%.[2] Menezes took office on September 3, 2001.[3] His eligibility as a candidate was questioned, since he also held Portuguese citizenship, but he renounced this and his candidacy was approved.[4] On July 16, 2003, while he was away in Nigeria, there was a military coup d'etat led by Fernando Pereira, but Menezes was restored to power on July 23, 2003, following an agreement.[5]

Menezes was re-elected on July 30, 2006, winning 60.58% of the vote and defeating Patrice Trovoada, son of former president Miguel Trovoada.[2][6]

The discovery of a coup plot allegedly involving Christian Democratic Front leader Arlecio Costa was announced on February 12, 2009. Costa and more than 30 others were arrested. At a press conference on February 24, Menezes said that he was "touched" by the support of the security forces; he also said that he would be willing to leave office if he was "the reason that things are not working in this country".[7]

Menezes received the World Peace Culture Award on July 13, 2002.


  1. ^ a b "Portugal Digital - Fradique de Menezes vence presidenciais em São Tomé e Príncipe". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Elections in São Tomé and Príncipe, African Elections Database.
  3. ^ "New president sworn-in", IRIN, September 4, 2001.
  4. ^ "Fradique de Menezes new president on Sao Tomé", afrol News, August 6, 2001.
  5. ^ "Coup leaders hand power back to civilian president", IRIN, July 23, 2003.
  6. ^ "Incumbent wins vote", IRIN, August 2, 2006.
  7. ^ "Sao Tome leader 'still in charge'", AFP, February 25, 2009.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of São Tomé and Príncipe
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of São Tomé and Príncipe
Succeeded by