Cape Verde’s former prime minister, Josia Maria Neves, has won the presidency defeating the ruling party’s flagbearer Carlos Veiga following the election on Sunday, October 17.

Neves, 61, scooped 51.7 percent of the vote based on official results from 99.4 percent of polling stations defeating Veiga who got 42.4 percent of the votes. The other five candidates all won less than 2 percent each.

Neves of the left-wing African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) served as prime minister from 2000-2016.

His long tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the establishment of relations with China, the signing of a treaty with the European Union, and the introduction in 2008 of a predominantly female government.

The outgoing president also served as prime minister from 1991-2000 and represents Fonseca’s centre-right Movement for Democracy (MpD).

He reportedly admitted defeat in front of state television and congratulated his opponent after serving the maximum two five-year terms allowed by the constitution.

The transfer of power will be the fourth between the MpD and PAICV since independence from Portugal in 1975, consolidating Cape Verde’s status as one of Africa’s most stable democracies, Al Jazeera reported.

The country has a semi-parliamentary system with a strong emphasis on the Prime Minister, the government and the parliament.

Cape Verde is an archipelago and island country in the central Atlantic Ocean with about 550,000 people. It has one of the highest GDP per capita in West Africa and years of sustained growth.

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