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Politics of Cape Verde

The constitution first approved in 1980 and substantially revised in 1992 forms the basis of government organization. It declares that the government is the "organ that defines, leads, and executes the general internal and external policy of the country" and is responsible to the National Assembly. The Prime Minister is the head of the government and as such proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote for 5-year terms; the most recent elections were held in 1995. The Prime Minister is nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the President. The President is the head of state and is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term; the most recent elections were held in February 1996.

The judicial system is comprised of a Supreme Court of Justice--whose members are appointed by the President, the National Assembly, and the Superior Board of the Magistrature--and regional courts. Separate courts hear civil and criminal cases. Appeal to the Supreme Court is possible.

Principal Government Officials
President--António Mascarenhas Monteiro
Prime Minister--Carlos Alberto Wahnon Veiga
President of the National Assembly--António Espirito Santo Fonseca
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Amílcar Spencer Lopes
Minister of National Defense--Ulpio Fernandes

Ambassador to the United States--Vacant
Ambassador to the United Nations--José Luís Monteiro

Cape Verde maintains an embassy in the United States at 3415 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C. 20007 (tel. 202-965-6820) and a consulate in Boston (tel. 617-353-0014).

Political conditions
Cape Verde enjoys a stable democratic system. The Movement for Democracy (MpD) captured a governing majority in the National Assembly in the country's first multi-party general elections in 1991. The MpD was returned to power with a larger majority in the general elections held in December 1995. Currently, there are three parties with seats in the National Assembly--MpD 50, PAICV 21, and PCD 1.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Cape Verde
conventional short form: Cape Verde
local long form: Republica de Cabo Verde
local short form: Cabo Verde

Data code: CV

Government type: republic

Capital: Praia

Administrative divisions: 14 districts (concelhos, singular - concelho); Boa Vista[?], Brava[?], Fogo[?], Maio[?], Paul, Praia, Porto Novo[?], Ribeira Grande[?], Sal[?], Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Sao Nicolau[?], Sao Vicente, Tarrafal[?]
note: there may be a new administrative structure of 16 districts (Boa Vista, Brava, Maio, Mosteiros[?], Paul, Praia, Porto Novo, Ribeira Grande, Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos[?], Sao Nicolau, Sao Filipe[?], Sao Vicente, Tarrafal)

Independence: 5 July 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1975)

Constitution: new constitution came into force 25 September 1992

Legal system: derived from the legal system of Portugal

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Antonio MASCARENHAS Monteiro[?] (since 22 March 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Carlos Alberto Wahnon de Carvalho VEIGA[?] (since 13 January 1991)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 18 February 1996 (next to be held NA February 2001); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
election results: Antonio MASCARENHAS Monteiro reelected president; percent of vote - Antonio MASCARENHAS Monteiro (independent) 80.1%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 17 December 1995 (next to be held NA December 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - MPD 61.3%, PAICV 29.8%, PCD 6.7%, other 2.2%; seats by party - MPD 50, PAICV 21, PCD 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Supremo Tribunal de Justia

Political parties and leaders: African Party for Independence of Cape Verde[?] or PAICV (Pedro Verona Rodrigues PIRES[?], chairman); Movement for Democracy[?] or MPD (Prime Minister Carlos VEIGA, founder and president); Party for Democratic Convergence[?] or PCD (Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO[?], president); Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS (Dr. Oresimo SILVEIRA[?], president)

International organization participation: ACCT[?], ACP[?], AfDB, CCC[?], ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ferdinand Amilcar Spencer LOPES
chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 965-6820
FAX: [1] (202) 965-1207
consulate(s) general: Boston

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Lawrence Neal BENEDICT
embassy: Rua Abilio Macedo 81, Praia
mailing address: C. P. 201, Praia
telephone: [238] 61 56 16
FAX: [238] 61 13 55

Flag description: three horizontal bands of light blue (top, double width), white (with a horizontal red stripe in the middle third), and light blue; a circle of 10 yellow five-pointed stars is centered on the hoist end of the red stripe and extends into the upper and lower blue bands

See also : Cape Verde

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