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VOA (File photo) / António Mascarenhas Monteiro
Cape Verde’s government has declared two days of national mourning for the death on Friday, 16, of the former President of the Republic, António Mascarenhas Monteiro,
António Mascarenhas Monteiro was 72 years old and had been sick for some time already. He died on the morning of Friday, September 16, in Cape Verde
He was President from 22 March 1991 to 22 March 2001, the first elected President in the context of multiparty politics.
The government has declared two days of national mourning, with the flag to fly at half-mast and all public shows and events cancelled.
Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro was president of the African Union Contact Group on Madagascar, which sought to mediate the conflict that broke out in the course of the presidential elections of December 2001, led a mission of to Togo will after the death of President Gnassingbe Eyadema and the decision of the Togolese armed forces to name his son, Faurre Gnassingbe, to replace him, and also headed the mission of La Francophonie who observed the elections in Guinea-Bissau in April 2014.
That same year, after the resignation of President Blaise Compaore, António Mascarenhas Monteiro was appointed by the Secretary General of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), Abdou Diouf, to lead a mission to Burkina Faso.
He was also a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization that works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflicts through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law.
Before assuming the presidency, Mascarenhas Monteiro was for 10 years president of the Supreme Court of Cape Verde.
António Manuel Mascarenhas Gomes Monteiro, was born on February 16, 1944. in the fishing region of Ribeira da Barca, in the municipality of Santa Catarina, in the island of Santiago,
Graduated in Law in Louvain, Belgium, where he also became a university professor before he had before passed through Guinea Conakry, where he joined the PAIGC, African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, then led by Amilcar Cabral.
Among several works published, the former Cape Verdean head of state wrote “The system of government in the Cape Verdean Constitution 1992” and “The democratisation process in Africa: the case of Cape Verde” as well as numerous articles in magazines and international newspapers.
Besides being awarded the Doctor of Honoris Causa degree by the Public University of Mindelo, Cape Verde, Mascarenhas Monteiro received in Portugal two important awards: the Grand Necklace of the Order of Freedom in 1991 and the Grand Necklace of the Order of Infante D. Henrique in the year 2000.
In September 2006 he was appointed by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Special Envoy to East Timor.
António Mascarenhas Monteiro was considered a simple person, modest social skills, of great inner wealth and without attachment to material goods.
Reactions to his death are flooding social networks, facebook, in particular, highlighting the above mentioned qualities and yet its solid dignity and honesty in the fulfilment of his high responsibilities as a State of Man.Source: Rádio Vaticano / Voa Portugues