Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa can now govern alone. His “Socialist Party” (PS) gained more than five percentage points in the early parliamentary elections and reached the absolute. According to the electoral authority, Costa’s social-democratic PS received 41.6 percent of the vote – and at least 117 of the 230 seats in the “Assembleia da Republica” in the capital Lisbon.
On the night of Monday, the 60-year-old prime minister appeared in front of his supporters with a red tie and a red corona mask, but the smile could not be overlooked. “This is a victory for humility, for stability and for trust,” said Costa in his speech.
During the election campaign, the prime minister, who had previously been dependent on the support of the left bloc (BE) and the communists (PCP), repeatedly said that only with a “stable government” would it be possible to build on the successes of the time before the pandemic . After the difficult years of the euro crisis, he led Portugal very successfully.
Premier surprised skeptics
In fact, Costa surprised many of his compatriots and skeptics in the past legislature. They had their doubts when Costa took power in 2015 in a loose alliance with two left-wing parties. The Conservatives actually won the election, but they did not get a majority. Then Costa agreed with the left bloc and the communists to support his minority government.
Not a few were convinced that Costa would also swing to the left under pressure from the two far-left parties. But Costa was pursuing a course of socio-political reforms, while at the same time keeping the national debt in check and strictly controlling the budget.
European champion in vaccination
Even after the pandemic slump, unemployment figures remained relatively stable. The EU Commission now expects Portugal to reach pre-crisis levels by the end of 2022. After initial mistakes and glitches in fighting the pandemic, Costa was able to cut a good figure here too. He made his country the European vaccination champion with a rate of more than 90 percent.