Portugal: Socialists get absolute majority in election



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The Socialist Party (PS) in Portugal has won an absolute majority in the early parliamentary elections. Chancellor Scholz congratulated the election winner António Costa.

Lisbon – With a surprisingly strong result, the Socialist Party (PS) of Portugal* Prime Minister António Costa secured an absolute majority in the early parliamentary elections. The party won at least 117 of the 230 mandates in the vote on Sunday. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) from the opposition centre-right camp came in second with 71 seats. Costa announced “investments and reforms” in Portugal in his victory speech.

So far, the Socialist Party has had only 108 seats in the Lisbon Parliament. Costa had therefore led a minority government since 2019, which had depended on the support of two left-wing parties. In his victory speech, Costa stressed that “an absolute majority does not equate to absolute power”. “It doesn’t mean that you rule alone. It means a greater responsibility.”

Portugal: Prime Minister Costa’s Socialist Party wins an absolute majority

Costa said the clear vote for the PS creates the conditions “to make investments and reforms to make Portugal richer, fairer and more innovative”. The 60-year-old head of government referred to the reforms planned as part of the European Corona reconstruction program. Portugal is to receive a total of 16.6 billion euros from the EU reconstruction fund by 2026.

The new election became necessary after a budget draft by Costa’s government failed in parliament in the fall – also because the two left-wing parties had withdrawn their support from the head of government. Both parties lost seats in the election. According to an editorial in the newspaper Público, Costa is no longer tied to the “radical left” and will in future have the opportunity to pursue “moderate and European approaches” more than before.

Parliamentary elections in Portugal: Costa wins with surprising clarity

Costa’s clear election victory surprised many observers. The last polls before the elections had indicated a head-to-head race between the PS and the main opposition party, the PSD. The PSD came out promising to cut corporate taxes and push privatization to boost economic growth

Catia Reis, 39, said she voted for the Socialists because Portugal “needs stability” at the moment. Now is “not the time for political change,” added the HR manager. The retired carpenter Manuel Pinto also voted for Costa’s socialists: “We need them in these difficult times,” said the 68-year-old.

Chancellor Scholz congratulates Prime Minister Costa on “great victory”

Congratulations also reached Costa from Berlin and Brussels. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD)* congratulated his Portuguese colleague on his “great victory” via the online service Twitter. “I am delighted that you will continue to serve Portugal as a true champion of social justice,” Scholz wrote. “Let’s tackle the challenges of our time together and build a better and stronger Europe!”

With regard to Costa’s election victory, the SPD foreign policy expert Michael Roth spoke of “good news” from Portugal. The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD) *, was pleased with the “great result” of the PS. “The bad news: the far-right party Chega takes third place,” she added.

Portugal: Right-wing splinter party Chega is growing significantly

Chega – with only one seat in parliament so far a splinter party – got 7.15 percent in the election and thus twelve seats. Party leader André Ventura announced a tough opposition. “Everything will change in Parliament,” said the former sports presenter. “From now on there will be no more soft opposition. We will play the role of true opposition to the socialists.”

During the election campaign, the right-wing populist party called for, among other things, the “castration” of sex offenders and greater support for the police.

The final election result is expected in the coming days. Not included in the count so far are the votes of the Portuguese living abroad, for whom four seats are reserved in Parliament. (AFP) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA


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