afrol News, 7 February - Cape Verde's ruling socialist PAICV party made major losses in yesterday's parliamentary elections, but closely managed to maintain its majority, according to preliminary results published today.
Prime Minister José Maria Neves is set to govern Cape Verde for yet another five years, if the preliminary results announced by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) this afternoon are correct.
His ruling PAICV party, according to the CNE, got 51 percent of the votes, securing it a continued, although tighter, majority in the Praia parliament. The PAICV will have 37 out of parliament's total of 72 seats, preliminary calculations revealed.
The PAICV, a reformed social-democratic party with a communist past, during the last elections, in 2006, had assured a somewhat broader majority in the outgoing parliament. Its 52 percent of the vote at that time had given the ruling party 41 deputies.
The main winner of yesterday's elections, although failing its aim of thwarting the PAICV majority, was the conservative MPD opposition party. From the 2006 election to yesterday's poll, the MPD improved its standing from 44 to and estimated 46 percent of the vote and from 29 to 33 seats in the Praia parliament.
The minor UCID opposition party, according to preliminary numbers, was able to maintain its two parliamentary seats.
While the numbers are preliminary and there may be re-counts in some districts, the PAICV holds that the margins in its favour are sufficiently large to celebrate the victory already today.
Prime Minister Neves in a statement to the press today said the election results represented "a historic victory." He was referring to the fact that this is the first time since the introduction of a multi-party democracy in 1990 that a government is re-elected twice in a row in Cape Verde.
Immediately after the introduction of a true democracy in Cape Verde, the PAICV and MPD were elected to hold power in alternate polls. Over the last decade, however, Cape Verde has seen an impressive economic and social development, with many voters thanking the ruling PAICV for the gains made.
Prime Minister Neves has made it clear that he wanted to continue to head government if the PAICV would win the election. In Cape Verde, the Prime Minister is the head of the executive, while the President mostly has representative powers.
Cape Verde is to hold presidential elections later this year, most probably in August. Incumbent President Pedro Pires of the PAICV is not expected to seek re-election after two terms in the office.
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