The Republic of Cape Verde achieved independence from Portugal in 1975. Initially there was a one party system under the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). In September 1990 the country moved to a multi-party system.
The first National Assembly elections were held in early 1991 giving a decisive victory for the Movement for Democracy (MPD). In the subsequent election held on 17th December 1995 the MPD retained power, winning 50 seats and 61.3% of the vote. The MpD candidate also won the Presidential election.
In 2001 the PAICV were returned to power after ten years in opposition , winning 40 of the 72 seats. The PAICV candidate won the Presidential election by just 12 votes.
In 2006 the PAICV won again, this time taking 41 seats and 52.28% of the vote. The Movement for Democracy (MpD) took 29 seats and the Democratic and Independent Cape Verdean Union (UCID) took two seats. The PAIV Presidential candidate also won the presidential election, this time with an increased majority of 3,342 and 50.98% of the vote.
Only the PAICV and MpD parties put up a full list of candidates in every constituency.
The President is elected for a five year term by popular vote and may seek a second term.
The legislative branch consists of a unicameral National Assembly of 72 seats with members elected every five years.
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 places Cape Verde at joint 38th out of 176 countries with a CPI 2016 score of 59 (where 100 is least corrupt).