Cape Verde opposition concedes election defeat

Mon Feb 7, 2011 11:32am GMT
 

PRAIA Feb 7 (Reuters) - Cape Verde's main opposition party conceded defeat on Monday in parliamentary elections, but technical problems prevented official results from being published.

The outcome means the PAICV party that has ruled the small impoverished, but largely stable, island nation off the west African coast for the last decade will form the next government.

"In democracy people rule and we will assume the role that the people gave us," Carlos Veiga, leader of the opposition MPD party, said in a statement.

The DGAP, the body that helped organise the elections, had technical problems in transferring results due to power cuts but observers said they expected the PAICV to have won about 40 seats to the MPD's 30 in the 72 seat parliament.

Official results were expected later on Monday.

PAICV president and current Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves said the win with an absolute majority of seats in parliament would rejuvenate the party.

The PAICV and the MPD have dominated politics since independence from Portugal in 1975. Both have run the country, for a 10-year stint each since multi-party democracy was introduced in 1991.

Cape Verde's lack of resources and chronic drought have led to mass emigration of much of the population, which numbers a little over 500,000, but the government has developed the tourism industry and is seeking to turn the islands into a trade and transport hub.

The opposition conceding defeat before results are announced will further cement the country's reputation for having the most established democracy in an otherwise turbulent region. (Reporting by Alvaro Andrade; writing by David Lewis; Editing by Matthew Jones)

 
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