Portugal voted yesterday in a close election, where the far right is not expected to win a majority in parliament in a fragmented political situation that could make a big profit.
Social Democratic Prime Minister Antonio Costa is fighting for his political life after taking the lead of a former comfortable poll on his side after a recent surge by the centre-right opposition PSD party.
According to the final survey, the parties are statistically linked.
Another weak minority government outlook comes as Portugal seeks to boost a tourism-dependent economy that has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
A stable government is needed to take full advantage of the € 16.6 billion ($ 18.7 billion) package of EU recovery funds that Portugal will receive by 2026.
“Portugal needs stability after these two difficult years of fighting a pandemic,” Costa, who has been in office since 2015, told the final rally in the second city, Porto, on Friday.
Yesterday’s snap vote was summoned after two far-left parties that supported Costa’s minority government supported the right-wing party in October to reject the 2022 budget.
While the Socialist Party’s administration is at stake, the party is far superior to its allies in many other European countries, such as Greece and France, which have been virtually wiped out of the map in recent years.
If the socialists have again won the most votes but have not reached the majority, Costa plans to govern alone by negotiating support from other parties to the law on a case-by-case basis. Said.
Antonio Costa Pinto, a professor of political science at the University of Lisbon, said such a government had “almost no chance” to continue until the end of its 2026 term.
Under Costa’s scrutiny, Portugal, a country of about 10 million people, has set back austerity policies, maintained fiscal discipline and reduced unemployment to pre-pandemic levels.
But PSD leader Louie Lio, 64, says the economy should grow faster. His party is proposing a corporate tax cut to boost growth.
Since Rio defeated the leadership challenge last year, he has often succeeded in unifying difficult parties, and his strategy to relocate around PSD seems to be fruitful.
Under Rio, PSD has absent socialists at the 2020 local elections in the Azores and at the Lisbon Mayor’s office last September.
He is open to forming a coalition with the conservative CDS and the emerging liberal libertarian party.
However, such a coalition requires the support of the far-right party Chega, and polls could emerge as the third largest party in parliament, reflecting the recent interests of such formations across Europe. Suggests that there is.
Translated “enough,” Chega joined parliament for the first time in one seat in the final elections of 2019.
Costa warned that the PSD-led government would become Chega’s “hostage.” Chega’s proposal includes castration of sex offenders.
Rio accuses Costa of being afraid of fear.
He vowed not to include Chega in the government, but showed that he was willing to lead a minority government supported by parliamentary support from the far right.
Catia Reis, 39-year-old HR manager, said socialists should win because “stability is needed.”
“It’s not a moment of political change,” she added after voting at a polling place in Lisbon.
According to the Ministry of Interior, turnout was 45.7% at 4 pm, but was 38.6% in the last election in 2019.
Elections are taking place in the midst of a surge in new Covid-19 cases, and many voters said they came as soon as the polling place opened to avoid congestion.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/708981/Socialist-reign-under-threat-in-Portugal-election Reign of socialists threatened by Portuguese elections