PRAIA- Cape Verde held parliamentary elections on Sunday, with ruling party Movement For Democracy (MpD) pitted against its main challenger, the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV).
A cluster of 10 volcanic islands 570 km (350 miles) off Senegal, Cape Verde stands out as a pocket of relative stability in the region, having held democratic elections since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
With a quarter of the economy reliant on tourism and travel-related industries, coronavirus restrictions at home and abroad pushed Cape Verde into recession last year.
In the previous government MpD controlled 40 of the 72-seat legislature, compared to PAICV's 29. International observers said the last elections in 2016 were largely free and fair.
The winning party will form a government and nominate a prime minister, who holds most executive authority in the country and is formally appointed by the president.
Results are expected to be announced on Monday afternoon.
(Reporting by Julio Rodrigues; writing by Hereward Holland Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +254 20 499 1232; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))