Cabo Verdeans elect their lawmakers and future Prime-Minister

By African Union Commission (AUC)

Almost 350,000 Cabo Verdeans began voting today 20th of March 2016, to elect their representatives to the National Assembly for the next five years, from where their new Government will emerge. The election is contested by six parties: the ruling the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV), the Movement for Democracy (MPD), Independent and Democratic Cape Verdean Union (UCID), the Socialist Democratic Party (PSD), the Work and Solidarity Party (PTS), and the People's Party (PP).

The 72 members of the National Assembly are elected for a five-year term from 13 multi-member constituencies ranging in size from 2 to 18 seats. The elections are held using closed list proportional representation.

The African Union (AU) Election Observer Mission is headed by H.E. Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi, former Chairperson of African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). Members of the Mission who have been on the ground since the 16th of March 2016 to observe the Parliamentary election, were seen at polling stations across the country.

AUEOM Head of and members visited polling centers in four islands where the observers verified logistical issues, voter turnout, opening, voting, and closing and counting procedures, and accessibility of the stations , among other issues.

The AU Mission is composed of 20 members drawn from the Pan-African Parliament, Elections Management Bodies (EMBs), and members of civil society and human rights, from 12 African countries, namely: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Togo and Tunisia. The AUEOM is in Cape Verde to present an independent and impartial assessment of the organization and conduct of the election.

Preliminary observations and recommendations of the Mission will be presented during a press conference scheduled for March 22nd 2016 by 10 am at the Hotel Santiago in Praia. At the end of the electoral process, the AUEOM will issue a final report containing a detailed analysis of the conduct of the electoral process in Cape Verde Republic.