Pedro Pires

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Pedro Pires
Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires.jpg
3rd President of Cape Verde
In office
22 March 2001 – 9 September 2011
Prime Minister José Maria Neves
Preceded by António Mascarenhas Monteiro
Succeeded by Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Prime Minister of Cape Verde
In office
8 July 1975 – 4 April 1991
President Aristides Pereira
António Mascarenhas Monteiro
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Carlos Veiga
Personal details
Born Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires
(1934-04-29) 29 April 1934 (age 81)
Fogo, Overseas Province of Cabo Verde, Portugal
Political party African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde
Spouse(s) Adélcia Barreto
Alma mater University of Lisbon

Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpedɾu vɨˈɾonɐ ʁuˈdɾiɡɨʃ ˈpiɾɨʃ]; born 29 April 1934) was the President of Cape Verde from March 2001 to September 2011. Before becoming President, he was Prime Minister from 1975 to 1991.

Life and career[edit]

Pires was born in Fogo, Cape Verde. After the ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) decided to institute multiparty democracy in February 1990, Pires replaced President Aristides Pereira as General Secretary of PAICV in August 1990. The PAICV lost the multiparty parliamentary and presidential elections held in early 1991 and was left in opposition. At a party congress in August 1993, Pires was replaced as General Secretary by Aristides Lima and was instead elected as President of PAICV.[1] As a candidate for the party presidency at PAICV's September 1997 congress, he faced José Maria Neves[2] and prevailed with 68% of the vote.[3] He stepped down as PAICV President in 2000 in preparation for a presidential bid in the next year's election[4] and he was succeeded by Neves.[1] He officially announced his candidacy for the Presidency of Cape Verde on September 5, 2000.[5]

Pires was the PAICV candidate in the February 2001 presidential election, defeating former Prime Minister Carlos Veiga of the Movement for Democracy (MpD) in the second round by just 12 votes.[6][7][8] Pires took office on March 22; the MpD boycotted his inauguration, saying that the election was marred by a "non-transparent process".[9] As President, Pires appointed Neves as Prime Minister.[1] He ran for a second term in the presidential election held on 12 February 2006 and again prevailed over Veiga, this time winning in the first round by a 51%-49% margin.[8]

In May 2008, he said that he favored a cautious, long-term approach to the formation of a United States of Africa, preferring that regional integration precede a continent-wide union. He attended the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-IV) at this time.[10]

Pires was awarded the 2011 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The prize was awarded in recognition of Pires role in making Cape Verde a "model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity". The prize includes a monetary component of $5m.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, page 113.
  2. ^ "Cape Verde: Opposition party congress opens", Radio Renascenca, Lisbon (, September 19, 1997.
  3. ^ "Cape Verde: Former PM elected leader of main opposition PAICV party", Radio Renascenca, Lisbon (, September 22, 1997.
  4. ^ "Cape Verde: Town council leader to run for PAIGC party leadership", RDP Africa web site (, May 29, 2000.
  5. ^ "Cape Verde: Former prime minister Pires to run for president in 2001 poll", RDP Africa web site (, September 6, 2000.
  6. ^ "New president for Cape Verde", BBC News, March 6, 2001.
  7. ^ "Cape Verde: National Election Commission declares Pedro Pires as new president", Televisao Publica de Angola (, March 5, 2001.
  8. ^ a b Elections in Cape Verde, African Elections Database.
  9. ^ "Cape Verde: Main opposition party boycotts presidential inauguration", PANA news agency (, March 23, 2001.
  10. ^ "Presidente cabo-verdiano prudente sobre Estados Unidos de África", Panapress, May 28, 2008 (Portuguese).
  11. ^ "Cape Verde ex-leader Pedro Pires wins Mo Ibrahim prize". BBC News. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
Political offices
New office Prime Minister of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Carlos Veiga
Preceded by
António Mascarenhas Monteiro
President of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Festus Mogae
Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
Succeeded by