November 26, 2014 / 10:14 AM / in 3 years

Sao Tome ex-president's son returns to prime minister's job

SAO TOME (Reuters) - Patrice Trovoada, the son of Sao Tome and Principe’s former President Miguel Trovoada, has been reappointed prime minister of the tiny island nation following his party’s sweeping victory in parliamentary polls last month, a presidential decree stated.

Sao Tome and Principe Prime Minister Patrice Emery Trovoada addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2012. REUTERS. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

President Manuel Pinto da Costa, who issued the decree on Tuesday, dismissed Trovoada as prime minister two years ago following a vote of no confidence in parliament.

However, Trovoada’s Independent Democratic Action (ADI) party secured an absolute majority in last month’s elections, taking 33 seats in the country’s 55-member National Assembly.

Trovoada, who has also served as foreign minister and as a presidential advisor on the economy and oil, will lead the government as Sao Tome and Principe seeks to begin pumping crude for the first time next year.

The former Portuguese colony in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is surrounded by nations that have produced oil for decades, but its fields have so far failed to produce major finds.

In April, Sao Tome and Principe and neighboring Nigeria announced plans to use non-conventional oil exploration technology in their joint offshore zone with the aim of launching production within 18 months.

Earlier in the year, Sao Tome’s government short-listed four companies, including Portugal’s Galp Energia, to bid on two oil blocks in its exclusive economic zone.

Sao Tome is one of the few African nations to recognize self-ruled Taiwan over China. However, the visit of Sao Tome and Principe’s president to China earlier this year sparked tensions, with Taiwan saying it was “highly concerned” by the visit.

Reporting by Ricardo Neto; Writing by Joe Bavier

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