António Mascarenhas Monteiro

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António Mascarenhas Monteiro
António Mascarenhas Monteiro crop.jpg
2nd President of Cape Verde
In office
22 March 1991 – 22 March 2001
Prime MinisterPedro Pires
Carlos Veiga
Gualberto do Rosário
Preceded byAristides Pereira
Succeeded byPedro Pires
Personal details
António Manuel Mascarenhas Gomes Monteiro

(1944-02-16)16 February 1944
Ribeira da Barca, Portuguese Overseas Province of Cabo Verde
Died16 September 2016(2016-09-16) (aged 72)
Praia, Cabo Verde
Political partyMovement for Democracy
Spouse(s)Antonina Mascarenhas Monteiro (?–2009; her death)
Alma materCatholic University of Leuven

António Manuel Mascarenhas Gomes Monteiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu mɐnuˈɛl mɐʃkɐˈɾeɲɐʒ ˈɡomɨʒ mõˈtejɾu]; 16 February 1944 – 16 September 2016) was the first democratically elected President of Cape Verde from 22 March 1991 to 22 March 2001.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Ribeira da Barca in 1944, Monteiro went to university in Belgium and graduated with his law degree from the Catholic University of Leuven.

Political career[edit]

During the PAICV's single-party government, Monteiro served in various high level positions. He was the Secretary-General of the National Assembly from 1977 to 1980 and President of the Supreme Court of Justice from 1980 to 1990.[2]

Presidency of Cape Verde[edit]

Affiliated with the Movement for Democracy, he was the first president elected in a multi-party election in the country, defeating Aristides Pereira in the February 1991 presidential election.[3]

On February 1995, he awarded one of the archipelago's greatest writer during the colonial era Eugénio Tavares the Medal of the Ordem do Vulcão.[4]

He was re-elected without opposition in 1996, receiving 80% of the vote. After serving two five year terms, he stepped down in 2001; in the 2001 election, Movement for Democracy candidate Carlos Veiga, who had served as Prime Minister under Monteiro, was defeated by Pedro Pires of the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV).

East Timor controversy[edit]

On 19 September 2006, it was announced that Monteiro would succeed Sukehiro Hasegawa as head of the United Nations mission in East Timor.[5] The appointment was criticized in East Timor, partly because Monteiro had a poor knowledge of English.[6] It was reported that Timorese president Xanana Gusmão was among those who expressed their concern about the appointment. [1]

On 25 September, Monteiro announced that he had changed his mind and would not be accepting the position. He told journalists that "I told the Deputy Secretary-General that I already knew that there were reservations about my name on the part of parties engaged in East Timor and that I was no longer interested in serving there." [2] He explained that "the functions of a representative of the UN Secretary-General in East Timor are very broad and must be exercised with the goodwill of all parties involved."[7] Therefore, "it is better to stand down now than to create problems later on, especially in view of the complexity of the situation in East Timor."[7]

Memberships and awards[edit]


Year Country Order
1991  Portugal PRT Order of Liberty - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Collar Order of Liberty[2]
 Senegal SEN Order of the Lion - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross, National Order of the Lion
 Cuba Ribbon jose marti.png Order of José Martí

Global Leadership Foundation[edit]

Monteiro was a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law. It does so by making available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders. It is a not-for-profit organization composed of former heads of government, senior governmental and international organization officials who work closely with Heads of Government on governance-related issues of concern to them.

Personal life[edit]

Monteiro's wife, Antonina Mascarenhas Monteiro, known widely as Tuna Mascarenhas, the former First Lady of Cape Verde, died in Praia on September 8, 2009, at the age of 65.[8] He had three children, Gamal, Marisa and Liliana.

Monteiro died of natural causes on 16 September 2016 in Cape Verde at age 72.[9]


  1. ^ "Cape Verde – Death of former President Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro (16.09.16) –". Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Global Leadership Foundation | Biography - António Monteiro". Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  3. ^ Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, pages 113–114.
  4. ^ "Condecoração de Eugénio Tavares pelo presidente da Républica de Cabo Verde, Doutor António Mascarenhas Monteiro" [Decoration of Eugénio Tavares by the President of the Republic of Cape Verde, Dr. António Mascarenhas Monteiro] (in Portuguese). Eugénio Tavares Foundation. February 1995.
  5. ^ "History of Antonio Mascarenhas". Archived from the original on 16 September 2008.
  6. ^ "East Timor shock as new UN chief changes his mind - World -". Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Timor UN mission head leaves before he arrives - World -". Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Tuna Mascarenhas, former first lady, dead at 65". A Semana. 10 September 2009. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Breaking: Cape Verde mourns the death of former president Mascarenhas Monteiro". Retrieved 5 October 2016.
Preceded by
Aristides Pereira
President of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Pedro Pires