Cape Verde, eyeing economic restoration, votes for new president

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PRAIA, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The West African archipelago nation of Cape Verde, one of many continent’s most secure democracies, voted on Sunday for a new president who can be tasked with righting its tourism-driven financial system after the COVID-19 pandemic despatched progress cratering.

Seven candidates are vying to exchange the term-limited Jorge Carlo Fonseca, however solely two are thought-about actual contenders: Carlos Veiga from Fonseca’s centre-right Movement for Democracy (MpD) and Jose Maria Neves of the leftist African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV).

Both are former prime ministers. Veiga, 72, served from 1991 to 2000, and Neves, 61, from 2001-2016.

Early turnout appeared mild within the capital Praia after polling stations opened round 7:00 a.m. (0700 GMT), a Reuters reporter stated.

The financial system is the dominant situation. Border closures throughout the pandemic reduce off Cape Verde’s seashores and mountains to vacationers, inflicting progress in gross home product (GDP) to contract by 14% in 2020. It is anticipated to bounce again to just about 6% this yr.

Since independence from Portugal in 1975, there have been two presidents every from the MpD and PAICV. Democratic presidential elections have been held since 1991.

The MpD maintained its parliamentary majority in an April election regardless of criticism from the PAICV over its dealing with of the pandemic. learn extra

The presidential election will head to a run-off if no candidate receives greater than 50% of the first-round vote.

Reporting by Julio Rodrigues; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Jan Harvey

Cape Verde's Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves speaks during a news conference with his Portuguese counterpart Pedro Passos Coelho (not pictured) at the Necessidades palace in Lisbon December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

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