Cape Verde's 1992 constitution states that
the country is a parliamentary democracy with
multi-party systems. In practice, too, Cape Verde is
largely governed by democratic principles. The change of
power has taken place since 1992 through free and fair
Cape Verde is a republic whose president is head of
state. He appoints the country's government on the
advice of the prime minister and also has the right to
dissolve the legislative parliament. The president is
elected in general elections every five years and can be
re-elected. A candidate must get at least two-thirds of
the votes to win, otherwise a second and decisive round
of elections will be held between the two candidates who
received the most votes.
Total population and chart of Cape Verde for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
In the Parliament, the National Assembly,
there are 72 members elected in general elections every
five years. Six of the members are elected by cutting
values living abroad. The voting age is 18 years.
The executive power is held by the Prime Minister,
who is elected by the National Assembly and is
responsible for it. Together with the President, the
Prime Minister appoints his own government. All
Ministers must sit in the National Assembly.
At the local level, Cape Verde is governed by 22
councils, whose members are elected in general elections
every five years.
Since the introduction of multi-party systems in
1992, two parties have dominated Cape Verde politics:
the Social Democratic Cape Verde African
Independence Party (Partido Africano da
Independência de Cabo Verde, PAICV) and
the bourgeois Movement for Democracy (Movimento
para a Democracia, MPD).
PAICV originated in the fight against the Portuguese
colonial power and from 1975 to 1991 was the country's
only allowed party. Earlier, PAICV stood far to the
left, but was transformed into a social democratic party
during the 1990s. After more than a decade in
opposition, PAICV returned to office through electoral
victory in 2001. The party also won the 2006 and 2011
elections, but lost to the MDP in 2016. PAICV's leader
in 2000–2014 was reform-friendly José Maria Pereira
Neves, the country's prime minister since 2001. The same
year party veteran Pedro Pires was elected president. He
was also re-elected in 2006. In accordance with the
constitution, Pires could not run for office in the 2011
presidential election. Winners then became MPD candidate
Carlos Fonseca, former Foreign Minister. The PAICV party
leadership post was taken over at the end of 2014 by
Janira Hopffer Almada.
The bourgeois MPD was formed as a counter-force to
PAICV and the one-party system. The MPD ruled the
country between 1991 and 2001 with Carlos Veiga as party
leader and prime minister. Ahead of the 2001 loss
election, a fierce leadership battle was fought within
the MPD and the party weakened (see Modern History).
However, the MPD came back and won a convincing victory
in the 2016 election with Correia E Silva as party
Several new parties have emerged since the mid-1990s,
but they have never had any real influence. The
democratic and independent Union of the
Christian Democratic Cape Verde (União
Caboverdiana Independente e Démocratica, Ucid),
founded in 1974 in exile, is represented in Parliament.
The Democratic Alliance (Partido da
Convergência Democrática, PCD) was
founded in 1994 by MPD defectors and dissolved in 2006.
The Labor and Solidarity Party (Partido
de Trabalho e Solidaridade, PTS) was
formed in 1998 and advocates increased regional
In 2015, a new protest movement, MAC # 114
(Movement for Civil Action, Movimento
de Acção Cívica) was formed, led by sociologist Rony
Moreira, former PAICV politician. MAC # 114 was
strongest among young people and was considered to win
support by playing on a popular dissatisfaction with
high unemployment, corruption, growing crime in the
capital Praia and increasing drug problems (both
smuggling and addiction). The movement has ties to PAICV
leader Janira Hopffer Almada.
The judiciary is independent and has a strong
position compared to most other African countries. It
rests on Portuguese legal traditions and consists of a
supreme court, a constitutional court and regional
courts. Under staffing is a problem, with long detention
times and missed trials as a result. Even the police
have too little resources to be really effective. There
has been information about the abuse of suspected
offenders by the police force. The country's prisons are
overcrowded and the living conditions of the prisoners
are inadequate. However, human rights are highly
respected. The death penalty has been abolished.