Pedro Pires is the new president of Cape Verde, his spokesman Rui Araujo announced late Wednesday after learning of Supreme Court rulings on 11 of 12 complaints of irregularities in the Feb. 25 runoff election.
Rival candidate Carlos Veiga has in turn admitted defeat, telling Lusa he would return to the legal profession and be a "strong militant against electoral fraud". The result certified by the National Election Commission last Monday, but dependent on the Court decisions, had given Veiga only 17 votes less than Pires out of about 150,000 ballots cast.
"I ask my supporters, in the higher interests of the country, to abide by the results and not respond to provocations. But life goes on. I hope and expect the new president of the republic to work on behalf of Cape Verde", Veiga said.
The final official results of the supra-partisan presidential contest in this West African island nation will be announced Thursday morning at the parliament building in Cidade da Praia.
Veiga had filed 10 complaints of irregularities and Pires two.
Court rulings in 11 of them narrowed Pires`s lead to 12 votes over Veiga, Rui Araujo said.
The one outstanding decision concerned a case of emigrant votes in Sao Tome and Principe, which will not affect Pires`s lead if the ruling is unfavorable, Pires` spokesman added.
Both Pires and Veiga are former prime ministers.
Pires`s candidacy was backed by the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV), which returned to power last January after ten years in opposition to Movement for Democracy (MpD) governments. Veiga was supported by the MpD.
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"John Matthew Mark Pinto"
New Bedford, MA.