- Incumbent Cape Verdean President Pedro Pires has repeated his narrow 2001 victory over the opposition's presidential candidate Carlos Veiga. This time, some 2,856 votes decided the race between the two rivals; in 2001, it was only 12 votes.
According to the National Elections Commission (CNE), President Pires of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) won 50.8 percent of the votes in Cape Verde's presidential polls, held on Sunday. His challenger, Mr Veiga of the opposition Movement for Democracy (MpD), achieved an honourable 49,2 percent of the votes, according to the CNE.
The election commission further revealed that Mr Veiga actually won a majority of votes from Cape Verdeans living on the archipelago. President Pires' re-election was only secured by a large majority among Cape Verdean citizens living abroad. Around 20 percent of the 325,000 Cape Verde citizens registered to vote live abroad.
This year's presidential elections turned into a narrow count, were the results from time to time changed between these two veterans of Cape Verdean politics. In the end, however, the results were relatively clear in favour of the incumbent. In 2001, a re-count of the votes was necessary to declare a winner as Mr Pires had achieved only 12 votes more than Mr Veiga.
With the victory of President Pires, the PAICV remains firmly in control of government in Cape Verde. The part also won the legislative elections in January this year, achieving around 52 percent of the vote. The PAICV now holds 41 of the National Assembly's 72 legislative seats. The MpD, which supported Mr Veiga, won 29 seats, while the small UCID party holds two seats.
While President Pires has naturally accepted his victory in the elections, Mr Veiga has yet to admit loss, 'A Semana' reports today. The opposition candidate has hinted at the possibility of requesting the annulment of the election results - particularly those coming from Cape Verde's emigre communities, where he lost to Mr Pires be a wide margin.
Mr Veiga at a press conference in Praia yesterday indicated that there was a "well-known lack of control and democraticness in the electoral process in some countries." Therefore, the opposition candidate said, the election results from abroad needed to be controlled or maybe even annulled.
While the official results only were available today, President Pires and his followers from the PAICV already stated celebrating victory yesterday, based on preliminary results from the CNE, where the results from two polling stations were still missing. The incumbent however waited until today to make a more lengthy statement, officially claiming victory.
Elections in Cape Verde have been known to run smoothly since multi-party polls were introduced in 1990. While generally free and fair, the polls only have registered minor problems due to the National Elections Commission's limited logistics.
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