ECOWAS Observation Mission Salutes Cabo Verde’s Political Maturity

Gen Salou Djibo presenting the ECOWAS Observation Mission’s Preliminary Declaration on Cabo Verde’s Oct. 17 Presidential Poll

The ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM) has commended Cabo Verdeans for their “political maturity” and praised the National Electoral Commission, NCE and other election management institutions for their “technical, organizational and professional skills.”

“By and large, the presidential election of October 17, 2021, took place under good conditions of transparency and credibility,” Gen. Salou Djibo, Head of the ECOWAS 51-member EOM, said in Praia, the Cabo Verdean capital on Monday, while presenting the Mission’s Preliminary Declaration on Sunday’s poll.

Guests in Praia at the presenation of ECOWAS Observation Mission’s Declaration on Cabo Verde’s Presidential election

Provisional results on a website jointly set up by the CNE, the General Directorate for Support to Electoral Process in Cabo Verde, DGAPE, and other election management institutions gave former Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves victory with 51.7% of the vote.

He defeated six other candidates, including his rival Carlos Veiga, also a former Prime Minister, who received 42.4% of the vote as runner-up, and has since conceded defeat and congratulated the victor.

“The ECOWAS Mission congratulates the Cape Verdean authorities and all stakeholders … for holding the election in a peaceful atmosphere,” said Gen. Djibo, Niger’s former Interim President.

He said the Mission deployed observers to 550 polling stations or 74.3% of the total in the Islands’ nation with 398,864 registered voters.

The Mission welcomed “the remarkable conditions for the organization of the ballot as well as the speed and transparency in the transmission and announcement of provisional results.” It also “congratulated the winner and urged him to address the challenges of economic recovery and consolidation of democratic gains, together with the Government and other stakeholders.”

The CNE Chair, Maria do Rosario Gonsalves explained on Monday that the Commission was still compiling the final official results the electoral law allows the Commission a 10-day time limit within which to announce the official results.

In apparent reference to the relatively low voter turn-out of 48% on Sunday, the ECOWAS Mission in its 15-point Declaration urged the relevant authorities in Cabo Verde to promote increase citizen participation in elections and strong representation of women in the management of public affairs.

It also called on Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) in the ECOWAS region to initiate exchanges and working visits with Cape Verde’s national institutions, including the NOSI Data Centre for experience sharing and also consider diaspora voting practised by Cabo Verde.

Among dignitaries at the ceremony were Ambassador Ismael Martins, Angola’s Permanent Representative and Head of the African Union Observation Mission, Dr Samuel Lamptey, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Cabo Verde and Gen Francis Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security, who welcomed guests and international observers to the occasion.

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