Cape Verde, in view of economic recovery, votes for a new president


PRAIA, Oct. 17 (Reuters) – The West African archipelago nation of Cape Verde, one of the continent’s most stable democracies, voted on Sunday for a new president who will be tasked with turning around its economy-driven economy. tourism after sending the COVID-19 pandemic growth crater.

Seven candidates are in the running to replace Jorge Carlo Fonseca, whose term is limited, but only two are considered real candidates: Carlos Veiga of the Center-Right Movement for Democracy (MpD) de Fonseca and Jose Maria Neves of the African Party left for the independence of Cape Verde. (PAICV).

Both are former prime ministers. Veiga, 72, served from 1991 to 2000 and Neves, 61, from 2001 to 2016.

Early turnout appeared low in the capital Praia after polling stations opened around 7:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT), a Reuters reporter said.

The economy is the dominant issue. Border closures during the pandemic cut off Cape Verde’s beaches and mountains to tourists, causing gross domestic product (GDP) growth to contract 14% in 2020. It is expected to rebound to nearly 6% this year .

Since Portugal’s independence in 1975, there have been two presidents each of the MpD and PAICV. Democratic presidential elections have been held since 1991.

The MpD maintained its parliamentary majority in the April elections despite the PAICV’s criticism of its handling of the pandemic. Read more

The presidential election will head to a second round if no candidate obtains more than 50% of the votes in the first round.

Report by Julio Rodrigues; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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