African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde

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African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde

Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde
LeaderJanira Hopffer Almada
SecretaryJúlio Correia
FounderAristides Pereira
FoundedJanuary 1981 (1981-01)
Split fromPAIGC
HeadquartersPraia, Santiago Island, Sotavento Group, Cape Verde
Youth wingJuventude do PAICV (JPAI)
Women's wingFederação Nacional das Mulheres do PAICV (FNM–PAI)


Political positionLeft-wing
International affiliationSocialist International
ColorsRed, Green and Yellow
National Assembly
27 / 72
Party flag
Flag of PAICV.svg
Archived website
Amílcar Cabral, with the flag of Guinea-Bissau in the background, on a 1978 East German stamp
PAICV headquarters in Praia

The African Party of Independence of Cape Verde (Portuguese: Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde, PAICV) is a former socialist party and currently a social-democratic political party in Cape Verde. Its members are nicknamed "os tambarinas" in Portuguese (the tamarinds), and they identify themselves with the color yellow.


In 1956, its forerunner, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), was founded by the Bissau-Guinean nationalist leader Amílcar Cabral. PAIGC fought to overthrow the Portuguese Empire, unify Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, and use its vanguardism to advance socialist revolution.

From 1961 on, the PAIGC fought a guerrilla warfare campaign in cooperation with its fraternal party umbrella group, the CONCP, during the Portuguese Colonial War. By 1973 the PAIGC controlled Guinea-Bissau, while Portugal's own Carnation Revolution in 1974 effectively dissolved the empire, relinquishing Cape Verde within the next year.

After the wars of national liberation, the PAIGC established a socialist state within both territories under Amilcar Cabral's brother, Luís Cabral.


Following a military coup in Guinea-Bissau that ousted Cabral in November 1980, the Cape Verde portion of the party became the PAICV in January 1981; it was headed by the President of Cape Verde, Aristides Pereira.[1]

Multiparty democracy[edit]

At an extraordinary party congress in February 1990, the PAICV approved the introduction of multiparty democracy. Pereira stepped down as General Secretary of PAICV in July 1990, and Prime Minister Pedro Pires replaced him in August 1990. The PAICV won 23 of the 79 National Assembly seats in the January 1991 multiparty parliamentary election, losing to the Movement for Democracy (MpD). Pereira was subsequently defeated in the February 1991 presidential election, and PAICV again fared poorly in the December 1991 local elections. 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]

The PAICV won 21 out of 72 National Assembly seats in the December 1995 parliamentary election.[1] At a PAICV congress in September 1997, Pires faced José Maria Neves in a leadership contest,[2] and Pires was elected with 68% of the vote.[3] Pires 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]

2001 election[edit]

In the presidential election held on 11 and 25 February 2001, PAICV candidate Pedro Pires, who won 46.52% of the vote in the first round, narrowly defeated the MpD's Carlos Veiga by a margin of only 12 votes in the run-off. [5]

2006 election[edit]

In the parliamentary election held on 22 January 2006, PAICV won 52.28% of the popular vote and 41 out of 72 seats in the National Assembly.[5]

In the presidential election held on 12 February 2006, Pedro Pires again narrowly defeated Carlos Veiga, winning 50.98% of the vote.[5]

2011 election[edit]

In the parliamentary election held on 7 February 2011, the PAICV led by Jose Maria Neves won 52.68% of the popular vote and 38 out of 72 seats in the National Assembly.[5]

In the presidential election held on 7 and 21 August 2011, Manuel Inocêncio Sousa lost to Jorge Carlos Fonseca (MpD) with 32.66% of the votes in the first round and 45.74% in the second round.[5]

Focus and affiliation[edit]

The PAICV, which advertises itself as an Africa-oriented political party in contrast to the somewhat neoliberal and europhile MpD, enjoys its greatest support in the municipalities most comparable to those on the African mainland: the dense urban areas such as Praia, and rural agricultural areas such as Santa Cruz and São Filipe.

The party is a full member of the Socialist International.[1][6]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Party candidate Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
1991 Aristides Pereira 25,544 26.6% - - Lost Red XN
1996 Did not run
2001 Pedro Pires 61,646 46.52% 75,827 50.00% Elected Green tickY
2006 Pedro Pires 86,583 50.98% - - Elected Green tickY
2011 Manuel Inocêncio Sousa 52,612 32.66% 82,379 45.74% Lost Red XN
2016 Did not run

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1975 Aristides Pereira 100,835 95.6%
56 / 56
Increase 56 Increase 1st Majority
1980 Aristides Pereira 141,244 93.0%
63 / 63
Increase 7 Steady 1st Majority
1985 Aristides Pereira 92,865 94.0%
83 / 83
Increase 20 Steady 1st Majority
1991 Aristides Pereira 39,673 33.6%
23 / 79
Decrease 60 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1995 Pedro Pires 45,263 29.75%
21 / 72
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
2001 José Maria Neves 67,860 49.50%
40 / 72
Increase 19 Increase 1st Majority
2006 José Maria Neves 88,965 52.28%
41 / 72
Increase 1 Steady 1st Majority
2011 José Maria Neves 117,967 52.68%
38 / 72
Decrease 3 Steady 1st Majority
2016 Janira Hopffer Almada 86,078 38.16%
29 / 72
Decrease 9 Decrease 2nd Opposition


  1. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b c d e Elections in Cape Verde African Elections Database
  6. ^ List of member parties of the Socialist International in Africa.

External links[edit]