Every 13 January is Democracy Day in Cape Verde. Democracy Day commemorates the first democratic elections in Cape Verde that occurred on 13 January, 1991.
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After hundreds of years under Portuguese rule, often riddled with slavery and oppression, Cape Verde gained its independence from Portugal in 1975. A one party rule then ensued for the next 15 years, but finally, in 1990, the government was forced to respond to public pressure for change. They allowed the formation of opposition parties at that point so a truly democratic election could take place the following year.
On 11 January, 1991, multi-party elections were held in Cape Verde for the first time ever, and the sitting party was overthrown by a new pro-democracy party that garnished almost three-quarters of the votes cast. Soon afterward, the date 11 January was made a national holiday, Democracy Day, so that this pivotal point in the nation’s history would never be forgotten.