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Ulisses Correia e Silva wants to change the way of doing politics in Cape Verde 31 Maio 2013

A new way of engaging in politics and exercising power in Cape Verde is the proposal from Ulisses Correia e Silva, who is the only candidate in the race to succeed Carlos Veiga as chairman of opposition party MpD in direct internal elections on June 16. In the public presentation of his candidacy last night, the current Praia mayor outlined the path for people-centered “durable development.”

Ulisses Correia e Silva wants to change the way of doing politics in Cape Verde

“Cape Verde’s central problem is political more than it is economic,” claimed Correia e Silva, exhorting the State, political parties, legislators and citizens to salvage positive values that can make a difference and contribute to development.

“We could have a consolidated democracy, better electoral administration, better public administration, better embassies and consulates, a better justice system, better security and a better media if the political environment were different and more favorable to the qualification of institutions. All that’s needed is political will, genuine political will,” said Ulisses Correia e Silva, who over the course of 50 minutes summarized the Strategy Motion he plans to present to party members.

“Development needs a positive political environment and good institutions. We have stability, we have democracy. But we could and should do more and better. There should be the political will to reduce political bipolarization in society and make citizens the main factor of development,” he said in his long speech.

Ulisses Correia e Silva also used the occasion to “send messages” to the PAICV-led government, whom he accused of driving the country down and leaving it vulnerable to external shocks. He also criticized the various unfulfilled promises made by the government of Prime Minister José Maria Neves which, according to Correia e Silva, explain the current crisis in the country.

He also took a more inward-looking approach, describing how the MpD will have to evolve in order to be considered a “credible alternative” in the 2016 legislative elections. “The MpD should be strongly committed to the values that transform society. It has to be a well-organized and dynamic party,” stressed Correia e Silva, who enjoyed the important support of outgoing leader Carlos Veiga, one of the most colorful personalities of the evening, who proudly took to the stage to stand beside his likely successor.

Notable absences included prominent MpD figures such as Eurico Monteiro (who recently opted not to run for the party leadership himself), José Filomeno, Francisco Tavares and Adalberto Higino Silva.

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