What Type Of Government Does Cape Verde Have?

The official flag of Cape Verde.
The official flag of Cape Verde.

The nation of Cape Verde is made up of a collection of islands in the Atlantic Ocean and is close to the West African coast. In official records, the country is referred to as the Republic of Cabo Verde. The first inhabitants of Cape Verde islands were Portuguese travelers of the 15th century. The Portuguese invaded the islands soon after their discovery and turned the area into a Portuguese colony. Due to their ideal location, the islands were critical in the Transatlantic Slave Trade of the 16th and 17th centuries. Additionally, merchants stopped by the islands on their way to the US and Europe. Cape Verde’s economy thrived as a result of increased trade in the islands. In 1975, the islands of Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal. They adopted a democratic system of governance where the President and members of the country’s parliament are elected by the citizens through popular votes. The country became a multi-party state in 1990. Cape Verde’s government is comprised of the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary.

The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Cape Verde

Cape Verde runs under a semi-presidential democratic system of government. The executive is made up of the President, the Prime Minister, and the members of the Cabinet. Cape Verde’s President is elected by the citizens every five years and can serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms only. The President is in-charge of the State while the Prime Minister runs the Government. Cape Verde’s Prime Minister is nominated by the members of Parliament and subsequently appointed by the President. The Prime Minister picks the Cabinet members from the National Assembly, and the President appoints them into office.

The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Cape Verde

Cape Verde has one legislative chamber which makes it a unicameral parliamentary system. The national assembly is made up of 72 members who are voted in as representatives for their different constituencies. They are elected to serve for periods of five years. The parliamentarians’ work is to make laws. A revision of the constitution in 1992 gave the national assembly the oversight role over the executive arm of government.

The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Cape Verde

The highest court in the judicial system of Cape Verde is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court judges are appointed by Cape Verde’s President, the national assembly, and the Judicial Council. Once appointed, the Judges serve for life. The nation’s Judicial Council is headed by the Chief Justice who is appointed by the President. The other junior courts are municipal courts, military courts, and customs courts. Criminal cases, Civil cases, and Constitutional cases are taken to separate courts. Appeals from the junior courts are taken to the Supreme Court. Cape Verde’s laws are based on civil laws adopted from the Portuguese legal system.

The Administrative Units In Cape Verde

The Islands that make up Cape Verde are divided into 22 municipal units. The mode of governance in Cape Verde is mostly decentralized. The municipal officials run most of the affairs of the municipalities independently from the central government. The local governments are led by the Municipal Governor and a team of Municipal council officials. They are in charge of housing, sanitation, education, healthcare, and development in their regions. The municipals are further sub-divided to make up 32 Parishes.


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