Portuguese came to Santiago and that was the first permanent European settlement. They named the Island Cabo Verde which was subsequently known in English as Cape Verde. It was an uninhabited island. The archipelago prospered during 16th. century as a slave trade center. After a French attack in 1712, the city declined its importance relative to Praia, which became the capital of Cape Verde in 1770. For the ideal location of the islands, it became a center for re-supplying ships for those going to America (north and south) from Europe. With the decline in the sslave trade in 19th. century the Portugal changed the status of Cape Verde and made its status a overseas province from a colony in 1951, in an attempt to blunt the growing nationalism. However, a revolutionary party, in the name of African party for Independence of guinea Bissau and cape Verde (PAIGC), was formed in 1956 under the leadership of Amilcar Cabral, a Cape Verdean, born in Guinea Bissau. The freedom fighters were trained by Cuba, Russia, China to fight in the guerrila technique. After fierce fighting independence was granted to Guinea Bissau in 1974 and to Cape Verde in 1975. Due to a coup in Guinea Bissau in 1980 the relation between Guinea Bissau and Cape Vede was strained and they changed the name of their Party as African Party for Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV).
After the rule of 16 years by a Marxist party (one party rule) an election was held for a multi- party democracy due to the presure from inside and outside the country in 1991. Abondoning the Marxist Party and its economic system, a party known as Movement for democracy (MPD) won a landslide victory and came to power. But in the election held in 2006, The PAICV won a majority of the 72 seats in the National Assembly, holding 41 seats against 29 by MPD and 2 seats were won by another two parties, one each.