Cape Verde – Constitutional amendments

Cape Verde recently passed a constitutional law that changed a large number of articles in the constitution. The changes were published in the country’s official bulletin on 3 May. There is a report in Diário de Notícias that the reform was approved by 64 votes (38 from the ruling PAICV and 26 from the opposition MPD) to zero, with two abstentions from the União Cabo-Verdiana Independente e Democrática (UCID).

The constitution dates back to 1992. There were already major changes in 1999. The 1992 version is available in English here. The 1999 version is available in Portuguese here. The 2010 changes and the consolidated text are available also in Portuguese here.

In relation to semi-presidentialism, the main change concerns Art. 111 and the minimum amount of time between presidential and legislative elections. Now, the one cannot follow the other by fewer than 180 days. Previously, elections would occur within a couple of weeks or a month of each other. Thus, they were quasi-simultaneous. In addition, there is an important clarification in the wording to Art. 142, which relates to the reasons for a dissolution of the Assembly. Now, the circumstances in which a dissolution may occur are specified more clearly. Generally, though, the reform was motivated by a major reform of the judicial system.

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