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Luxury Townhouses in 2009

NEWS ALERT: Exclusive Luxury Townhouses are soon to be built with the most stunning ocean views in Sao Vicente. Spacious 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with 2 En-suite and infinity pool. Be sure to complete the Property Form for more details and read more on Sao Vicente. These Townhouses are believed to double in value by 2011 when the International Airport will be open. Alternatively, you can request a property pack by calling our UK Office on 0208 517 8856.

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Government and Politics

Politics of Cape Verde takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Cape Verde is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. 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.

Uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered the islands in 1456, Cape Verde's history began in 1495 when it joined Portugal's colonial empire. Over the centuries, African blood brought in under slavery mixed with that of the Portuguese, and to a lesser extent with English and French, to create the Cape Verdean people of today.

Until the slave trade was abolished in 1876, Cape Verde prospered thanks to its ideal position as a staging post on the great trade routes between Africa, Europe and the New World. But with the end of slavery came the end of Cape Verde's boom time ' and the economy went into decline. In the 20th century, Cape Verde still served as • a shipping port but on a much smaller scale.

In 1951, Cape Verde's status changed from a Portuguese colony to an overseas province and in 1956 the islands came closer to gaining self-government when they joined an independence movement led by Guinea-Bissau, another Portuguese colony. In 1961 Cape Verdeans became full Portuguese citizens and in 1974, following the coup in Portugal, the colonial empire was dismantled resulting in the declaration of Cape Verde's independence on 5 July 1975.
As the Republic of Cape Verde, the islands evolved into a multi-party democracy and now enjoy a stable social and political environment and consistent growth in economic development respected by the state.

After independence was granted government control passed to the Partido Africano de Independencia de Cape Verde (PAICV) under a single-party state. This was the status quo for the next 16 years until 1991 when the newly-formed political party, the Movimento Para a Democracia (MPD), won the first multi-party democratic national election. A further democratic election in 1996 returned the MPD to power. But in 2001 a much-transformed PAlCV was elected back into power. The party can be credited with having achieved record economic success during that term and was consequently re-elected to another five years on 22 January 2006.

Cape Verde is a socially and politically stable country, with all political parties, whether in government or opposition, supporting the macroeconomic and reform policies recommended by the IMF and the World Bank. This means policies are consistently followed to control public spending, reduce domestic debt, privatise companies and improve social services.

All political parties are very keen to attract foreign private investment, particularly into the development of the property, tourism, light manufacturing, shipping and fishing sectors. The government's main foreign policy objectives are to maintain dose relations with the Western donors that serve as its main development partners, I accounting for more than one third of government revenue. It is also keen to strengthen its relationship with the European Union and is currently seeking associate status with the EU, backed by the formal support of Portugal.

The three other volcanic islands groups, the Canary Islands, the Azores and Madeira. Which, with Cape Verde, form the North Atlantic sub-region of Macaronesia - are already part of the EU.

In Cape Verde, the army has never taken an active role in politics. The geographical isolation of the islands means that conflicts in the West African region have had 1egligible impact. The justice system and local institutions are relatively strong by the standards of most African countries and corruption, whilst not unknown, is not I a concern. In the military league of the United Nations' countries most likely to go a concern. In the military league of the United Nations' countries most likely to go just 0.7% GOP.

According to the United Nations Development Programme of 2003, Cape Verde is a middle-income country, with the fourth highest Human Development Index of all African nations behind only the Seychelles, Mauritius and Tunisia and is the highest I African nations behind only the Seychelles, Mauritius and Tunisia and is the highest adult literacy, education etc. The Economist Intelligence Unit Country Profile for Cape Verde of 2003 reports, "Since independence there has been no significant incident of civil unrest in Cape Verde, and changes of government have occurred peacefully".

Political Summary

Following independence in 1975, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) established a one party political system. This became the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) in 1980, as Cape Verde sought to distance itself from Guinea-Bissau, following unrest in that country.

In 1991, following growing pressure for a more pluralistic society, multi-party elections were held for the first time. The opposition party, the Movement for Democracy (MpD), won the legislative elections, and formed the government. The MpD candidate also defeated the PAICV candidate in the presidential elections. In the 1996 elections, the MpD increased their majority, but in the 2001 the PAICV returned to power, winning both the Legislative and the Presidential elections.

Generally, Cape Verde enjoys a stable democratic system. The elections have been considered free and fair, there is a free press, and the rule of law is respected by the State. In acknowledgment of this, Freedom House granted Cape Verde two 1s in its annual Freedom in the World report, a perfect score. It is the only African country to receive this score.

Executive branch

President Pedro Pires PAICV 22 March 2001
Prime Minister José Maria Neves PAICV 1 February 2001

The Prime Minister is the head of the government and as such proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. 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 five-year term; the most recent elections were held in 2006.

Voting rights for noncitizens

Article 24 of the Cape Verde Constitution states that: Alinea 3: "Rights not conferred to foreigners and apatrids may be attributed to citizens of countries with Portuguese as an official language, except for access to functions of sovereignty organs, service in the armed forces or in the diplomatic career." Alinea 4. "Active and passive electoral capacity can be attributed by law to foreigners and apatrid residents on the national territory for the elections of the members of the organs of the local municipalities." The website of the governmental Institute of Cape Verde Communities states that such a measure was adopted "to stimulate reciprocity from host countries of Cape Verdian migrants".

A law nr. 36/V/97 was promulgated on August 25, 1997 regulating the "Statute of Lusophone Citizen", concerning nationals from any country member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (article 2), stating in its article 3 that "The lusophone citizen with residence in Cape Verde is recognized the active and passive electoral capacity for municipal elections, under conditions of the law. The lusophone citizen with residence in Cape Verde has the right to exercise political activity related to his electoral capacity."

Government: Since Cape Verde won independence from Portugal in 1975, it has had a democratic multi-party system of government with proportional representation through electoral districts. The unicameral national assembly is made up of seventy-two elected deputies including six chosen by the Cape Verdean population abroad.

Leadership and Political Officials: The president is elected for a five-year term and appoints a prime minister. There are two main political parties: African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICY) and Movement for Democracy (MPD). In the general population identification with one party or the other is strong and highly personal. Local elections are occasions for rallies with music and dancing, parades, and public shouting matches.

Social Problems and Control: What little crime there is in Cape Verde consists mainly of petty theft and robbery. This is more common in the cities, particularly in Praia. The code of conduct is implicitly enforced by social pressure. Personal reputation is of paramount importance; for this reason, the court system is overrun with slander cases.

Military Activity: Cape Verde has a small military of eleven hundred active duty personnel. Of these, 91 percent are in the army and 9 percent are in the air force. Cape Verde spends roughly 1 percent of its GNP on its military.

Social Welfare and Change Programmes: Social security programmes have been introduced, but are limited in scope. The government provides some assistance for the poor and the elderly, as well as free health care, but the majority of social welfare is provided by individual families and communities.

Nongovermentental Organizations and Other Associations: Several foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are a presence; among these, the German organization Dywidag has helped develop the ports. The U.S. Peace Corps sends volunteers to work in the education system and local government. Portuguese aid groups are also present in Cape Verde.

See also helpful information on Foreign relations. Our resources page also has helpful links for Cape Verde Government sites.