(Updated Monday July 9th) Cape Verde´s July 1st local elections were a clear victory for the opposition Movimento para Democracia or MpD. Though abstention rates were substantially higher than in 2008, the MpD managed to increase its share of the vote slightly and it now controls 13 municipalities.
MpD Mayor Ulisses da Silva easily maintained his position in the country´s capital, Praia, positioning himself even stronger as a possible successor to Carlos Veiga as the party´s leader.
The MpD also won on Sao Vicente, though without full control of the city´s assembly.
In Santa Catarina, Cape Verde´s third biggest town, on Santiago, the results were to close to call between votes cast for the PAICV and MpD mayoral candidates. After a recount in a tense atmosphere (with National Police presence boosted, the MpD was finally declared the winner with a thin margin. However, Jose Maria Veiga, the PAICV candidate, announced he was going to fight the results in court, blaming the MpD for some irregularities at two isolated polling stations.
On Santo Antao Island, Ribeira Grande remained in MpD hands, while that party also and surprisingly took over the town of Paul from Mayor Vera Almeida (PAICV), but it (less surprisingly) lost Porto Novo to the PAICV.
All three towns on Fogo meanwhile remain in PAICV hands, despite an attempt by a local renegade PAICV dinosaur in Sao Filipe to remain in power with his own newly created party. In that town the reuslts of the elections may still lead to instability. Sal remains as expected by many fully in the hands of the flamboyant Jorge Figuereido, who took 53% of the votes with his independent GIMCS party.
The PAICV is widely considered as have lost face in these polls, not only because of the number of votes cast, but also because the many political heavyweights if fielded (among which several former ministers) did not manage to hold their ground (AW).
Full results can be found here. By the way, you, readers of Atlantico Weekly, predicted the outcome of the elections correctly in the poll we ran for several weeks.
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Judge Júlio Afonso rejected the allegations of all eight defendants in the Operation Speed Boat case who had requested a Preliminary Contradictory Hearing, and, in the cases of Djoy Gonçalves and Jacinto Mariano, decided to reinforce the measures aimed at keeping them under the eye of the law (A Semana).
Thousands turned out in New Bedford for the step dancers, steel drums and bowls of creamy chicken soup that mean home to the Cape Verdeans celebrating the 40th annual Cape Verdean Recognition Parade (South Coast Today).
THE GRAND TOUR OF CAPE VERDE
The Santiago, Sao Vicente and Sal chapters of The Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s travel guide to the country’s main islands, have been updated!