Parliamentary elections in Portugal have started


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Portugal has started early parliamentary elections. Almost eleven million voters are called upon to cast their votes, despite the currently particularly high number of corona infections in Portugal. © Armando Franca/AP/dpa

A new parliament is elected in Portugal. People in quarantine at home are also allowed to leave their homes for an hour as an exception. A very close result is expected.

Lisbon – The early parliamentary elections began in Portugal on Sunday morning. Almost eleven million voters are called upon to cast their votes, despite the currently particularly high number of corona infections in Portugal. People who are in home quarantine are exceptionally allowed to leave the house to vote between 6pm and 7pm (7pm to 8pm CET).

Almost all polls predict a narrow victory for Prime Minister António Costa’s Socialist Party (PS). However, the Socialists are likely to miss the desired absolute majority of parliamentary seats. This means that the 60-year-old, who has been in power since the end of 2015, would still be dependent on the support of smaller left-wing parties. A victory for the conservative-oriented Social Democratic Party PSD led by leading candidate Rui Rio was also not ruled out.

Close election result expected

Costa has led two minority governments since 2015, supported by smaller left-wing parties. In the last election in autumn 2019, his party, which was more social-democratic than socialist, got 36.3 percent and thus 108 seats out of a total of 230 seats in the “Assembleia da República”.

Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa called new elections in early November after parliament rejected the minority government’s draft budget. The left bloc BE and the CDU alliance formed by communists and greens had called for more social spending. However, Costa did not want to give up its cautious spending policy. dpa


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