Cabo Verde: The Vital Statistics
Cabo Verde is an archipelago in the Atlantic, approximately 500km west of Senegal.
The islands are divided into two groups. Barlavento in the north, composed of Santo Antão (754sq km), Boa Vista (622sq km), São Nicolau (342sq km), São Vicente (246sq km), Sal (298sq km), and Santa Luzia (34sq km).
Sotavento in the south consists of São Tiago (992sq km), Fogo (477sq km), Maio (267sq km), and Brava (65sq km). The islands are mostly mountainous, with the land deeply scarred by erosion. There is an active volcano on Fogo.
The Cabo Verde constitution, first adopted in 1980 and last revised in 1999, forms the basis of government. The president, elected by popular vote, serves as Head of State for a 5-year term. The prime minister is nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president. He or she is head of government and proposes other ministers and secretaries of state.
The prime minister and members of the National Assembly, like the president, are elected by popular vote for 5-year terms.
Cabo Verde enjoys a stable democratic system. The Movement for Democracy gained a governing majority in the National Assembly in the country’s first multi-party general elections in 1991. It was returned to power with a larger majority in the general elections held in December 1995.
In 2001, the PAICV regained power, with four parties in total holding seats in the National Assembly, the PAICV holding an outright majority.
In January 2006, Cabo Verde held a round of parliamentary elections, followed by successful presidential election on February 12. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) judged both elections free and fair.