afrol News, 6 February - The ruling socialist party is predicted a large victory as around 300,000 voters were called to the ballot in Cape Verde today. No incidents were reported from the archipelago, were a mature democracy is established.
Voters on all the ten inhabited islands of Cape Verde today were reported to stream to poll offices to cast their vote in the sixth democratic parliamentary elections held on the West African archipelago since multi-party poll were allowed in 1990.
But not only in Cape Verde have voters cast their ballot. More than half of the islands' inhabitants live in the Diaspora, and a total of 38,000 of exiled Cape Verdeans have registered to vote. Three overseas voting districts have been given six seats in the Praia parliament. Reports from Lisbon, Luanda and other cities with ample Cape Verdean communities today reported of a large voter turnout.
Since the establishment of multi-party democracy, the conservative MPD party and the socialist PAICV party have regularly changed in holding power in Praia - the PAICV being the only party allowed before the political reforms of 1990.
For the last ten years, however, the PAICV has won most elections, with both Prime Minister José Maria Neves and - the mainly representative - President Pedro Pires coming from the reformed socialist party. An economic boom over the last years, lifting the nation up to a middle-income status, has consolidated the PAICV's popularity.
During the last parliamentary elections in Cape Verde in 2006, Prime Minister Neves and his PAICV were able to increase their majority in the Praia parliament. With 52 percent of the votes, the PAICV won 41 out of 72 parliamentary seats, thereby ruling by a comfortable majority. The MPD in 2006 won 44 percent of the vote and 29 parliamentary seats.
Observers in Cape Verde expect today's elections not to change much to the current picture. Due to the significant progress experienced in Cape Verde during the last decade, but also during the recent global financial crisis, citizens are expected to express renewed confidence in Prime Minister Neves.
Presidential elections are to be held later this year in Cape Verde. No date is set, but government has indicated the poll for this mostly representative office will be held in August.
It widely expected that President Pires, an earlier Prime Minister who now has had two consecutive terms in office, will not run again for the PAICV in the upcoming poll. The MPD's Carlos Veiga, who lost twice to Mr Pires with a small margin, has already indicated he wants to run for the office again if the party embraces his candidacy.
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