Cape Verde President Fonseca on track to win re-election

October 3, 2016 10:31 AM EDT

Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, President of Cape Verde, arrives at the office of Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the start of the Valletta Summit on Migration in Valletta, Malta, November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

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PRAIA (Reuters) - Cape Verde's President Jorge Carlos Fonseca won a second term in Sunday's election with nearly three-quarters of the vote, preliminary results showed.

Fonseca, who pledges to prioritize education, has led the West African archipelago since 2011, ensuring its stability in a region known for coups. The country is an important partner in efforts to disrupt the multi-million-dollar drug trade from South America to Europe.

With more than 95 percent of votes counted, Fonseca, who ran for the Movement for Democracy Party, had 74 percent, with his nearest rival Albertino Graca on 22.6 percent.

"It's the most decisive victory in the history of Cape Verdean democracy," said Fonseca in a statement.

However, the government data showed that fewer than 128,000 people had voted, or just over a third of registered voters.

The formerly dominant African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV)failed to forward a candidate, after losing parliamentary elections in March.

(Reporting by Julio Rodrigues; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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