Cape Verde presidential candidate supports closer relationship with China

6 February 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 06 Feb – Carlos Veiga, former prime minister of Cape Verde and opposition candidate for the country’s forthcoming presidential election, has said that the archipelago should increase its relationship with China and other emerging economies, and rethink its presence in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In an interview with Portuguese daily newspaper Público, Veiga said that, “Cape Verde’s foreign policy has to have several fulcra,” with “anchors in Brazil and other countries that are showing strong growth, such as China, which has increasing influence.”

As well as, he said, having links, “to the West coast of Africa, the European Union and the United States.”

Veiga, who in the February 12 election is standing against government candidate Pedro Pires, said, “I see ties with NATO as a good thing, although it is always necessary to deal with these issues with the greatest discretion.”

In terms of ECOWAS, Cape Verde, “should make a great effort to find information and only after that should it organize a referendum about the possible exit from the community,” he said.

Veiga, 56 and a lawyer, founded the Movement for Democracy, as head of which he headed the government of Cape Verde for nine years, between 1991 and 2000. (macauhub)