Italian businessman elected on the Cape Verdean island of Boa Vista

Sérgio Corrá, 59 years old and living since 1997 on the Cape Verdean island of Boa Vista, made history by being elected deputy to the local municipal assembly, leading the list of the Popular Party.

The Italian businessman Sérgio Corrá, 59 years old and living since 1997 on the Cape Verdean island of Boa Vista, made history by being elected deputy to the local municipal assembly, leading the list of the Popular Party (PP).

Founder of the independent movement “Pro Bubista Futura”, the businessman even announced in March the intention to lead, in the municipal elections that took place this Sunday, a candidacy to the Boa Vista chamber, but ended up accepting the PP invitation to lead the party list, but to the municipal assembly.

The PP list to the Boa Vista municipal assembly - the party did not run for the council - collected 20,4% of the votes (1.059) and managed to elect, in addition to Sérgio Corrá, two more deputies.

"We only asked for the election of a deputy, because it was a list led by a foreigner, it is more difficult, so it was a great result to have three," the businessman told Lusa today.

The Cape Verdean electoral law provides for the possibility of voting, in municipal elections, to foreign citizens over 18 years old and with legal and habitual residence in Cape Verde for more than three years. To be elected to municipal positions, foreign citizens must have legal and habitual residence in Cape Verde for more than five years.

Sérgio Corrá has lived in Boa Vista for more than 23 years and before Sunday's vote confirmed to Lusa the “change of strategy” of that group of citizens, now leading the PP list to the municipal assembly, hoping later to participate in the 2021 legislative elections, trying to become deputy, now to the National Assembly.

“The objective now is to dedicate the maximum to the local level, to work with the next city council. In 2021 participate at the legislative level, to take the problems of Boa Vista to the parliament ”, he also affirmed.

Sérgio Corrá explained to Lusa that the entry into politics was due to the desire to “give back” what he received over 20 years in Boa Vista: “It is a very educated population, which gave me a lot, which now I intend to give back ”.

It was in Boa Vista that Sérgio Corrá married a Cape Verdean teacher, who already has two daughters, but he does not conform to what he sees on the island today, criticizing the “corruption” that he says marks the consecutive municipal administrations.

“What strikes me the most is that it is an island that should be among the most developed in Cape Verde, but we must be in the last places, despite receiving 40% of tourists. The land on the island has been sold and the chamber is covered in debt. So, as it is, we have no future. We are the last of the last, ”he said earlier.

Cape Verde, and Boa Vista, met when he was 37 years old and worked in Milan, Italy, at a North American investment bank. He was then challenged to be director of the first major tourism project on that island.

“I left the bank because my city was very stressed and at that time I was looking for something different for my life. When I arrived in Boa Vista, 3.500 people lived here, there was no cell phone, there was no internet, it was difficult to send a fax, there were problems with water and electricity ”, he recalls.

Despite the difficulties, he ended up strengthening the connection to the island and after two years he left his position in the tourism enterprise to establish his own business, in the food area, always in Boa Vista.

Before the covid-19 pandemic, which shook the economy of that island, one of the most touristic in the archipelago, Sérgio had 30 employees and, among other investments, the largest shopping center in Boa Vista.

Boa Vista was one of the two municipalities of Cape Verde that were in the hands of independent lists since 2016. José Luís Santos, the still mayor, competed in these elections, which took place on Sunday, leading the list of the Movement for Democracy (MpD), having been defeated by the candidate of the African Party of Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV), Cláudio Mendonça.

And in a scenario where the MpD and PAICV each add up to five deputies in the municipal assembly, the position of the three elected representatives of the PP, led by the Italian, will be decisive in the governance of Boa Vista.

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