August 22, 2011 / 6:43 AM / 7 years ago

Cape Verde opposition leader wins election runoff

PRAIA (Reuters) - Cape Verde opposition candidate Jorge Carlos Fonseca has won a presidential election runoff in the west African island nation, securing 54.45 percent of the vote to beat ruling party flag-bearer Manuel Inocencio Sousa, authorities said.

With only about 7 percent of the ballot left to be tallied, Cape Verde election officials said late on Sunday that Fonseca had an unassailable lead while Sousa followed with about 45 percent of the vote.

Sousa told a new conference that he had acknowledged Fonseca’s victory and had congratulated him.

Opposition MPD party’s Fonseca, who takes over from ruling party’s Pedro Pires after the incumbent’s two terms in office, is the fourth president to rule the Atlantic archipelago nation since independence.

Fonseca will have to govern with a prime minister from the PAICV ruling party after they won a parliamentary election held in February.

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 its population, which numbers a little over 500,000. The government has developed the tourism industry and seeks to turn the islands into a trade and transport hub.

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