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Opposition returns to power in Cape Verde after 15 years

21 March 2016, 09:43

Praia, Cape Verde -Cape Verde's main opposition party won an absolute majority in general elections held Sunday, according to nearly complete results, ousting the ruling PAICV after 15 years in power

The head of the PAICV, Janira Hopffer Almada, conceded defeat after results showed the liberal opposition MPD party took more than 53 percent of the vote.

The results showed "a clear desire for change", said MPD leader Correia e Silva in his first statement to media.

The prime minister designate said there was "much work (to do) because we need a country with stronger economic growth to solve the unemployment problem and reduce poverty".

The results see the PAIVC lose power in the west African archipelago for the first time since 2001.

With 90 percent of the votes counted, the MPD looked set to take 36 seats out of the 72-member parliament, compared to 25 for the PAICV and three for the Christian Democratic Ucid party. Eight were undecided.

The MPD, a liberal party which counts President Jorge Carlos Fonseca among its members, won on the island of Fogo -- traditionally a bastion of the PAICV.

"I congratulate the MPD for the victory and I promise from now on to better prepare for the next electoral battles," said Hopffer Almada, referring to municipal poll and presidential vote due this year.

Before the vote, high youth unemployment and weariness with the ruling party were seen as the main threats to the PAICV, which formerly ruled Cape Verde as a single party.

Lying around 500 kilometres (310 miles) west of Senegal, Cape Verde comprises 10 volcanic islands, nine of which are inhabited.



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