Cape Verde presidential vote to be decided in runoff


Cape Verde’s presidential election will be decided in an Aug. 21 runoff after the leading candidates failed to win outright victory in Sunday’s first round of voting in the west African island nation.

Opposition candidate Jorge Carlos Fonseca of the MPD party led with 37.4 percent of the vote and will face the PAICV ruling party’s candidate Manuel Inocencio Sousa, who won 33.3 percent, according to provisional results published on Monday.

Aristides Lima, a former ruling party member who ran as an independent candidate and had been favoured in polls before the vote, fell short with 25.9 percent, while a fourth candidate, Joaquim Monteiro, got 2.1 percent, Reuters reports.

The PAICV and the MPD have dominated politics since independence from Portugal in 1975, each running the island state off Senegal for a 10-year stint since the advent of multi-party democracy in 1991.

The country has a parliamentary system in which the president has reduced powers and the government — currently dominated by the PAICV — decides most policy.

Cape Verde’s lack of resources and chronic drought have led to mass emigration from the island, whose population numbers a little over 500,000.

The country relies on tourism and remittances but the government wants to turn it into a trade and transport hub.