Portugal’s ruling Socialists claim election victory

Share With Friends:

Portugal’s ruling Socialists scored “a great victory” in Sunday’s parliamentary election and will seek to form a stable government, senior Socialist lawmaker Ana Catarina Mendes said as preliminary results pointed to a win without an outright majority.

The main question now is who Prime Minister Antonio Costa will pick as allies to stay in power after ruling for the past four years with support from the two hard-left parties – the Left Bloc and the Communists.

The leaders of both those parties said they had no objections to Costa being nominated as premier and were open to negotiate if the Socialists committed to improving the lives of workers.

“There is no obstacle for the president to appoint the prime minister and for the government to be formed and start working,” said Communist leader Jeronimo de Souza. “We will determine our position depending on the PS’ choices, on its budget instruments and the content of its legislative proposals.”

Left Bloc leader Catarina Martins said she was ready to negotiate with Costa either a full pact for the whole legislature or on a case-by-case basis, but added that “our commitments are to defend those who work, to save the national health service and recover public investment”.

Official results will trickle in through the evening. With about 54% of the vote counted, the Socialists led with 36.7%. Preliminary results tend to initially focus more on smaller towns and the final picture could still change.

Portugal’s Prime Minister and Socialist Party (PS) candidate Antonio Costa casts his ballot at a polling station during the general election in Lisbon, Portugal October 6, 2019.

The main opposition Social Democrats (PSD) were on 24.2% to 31% of the exit polls and 28.4% of the preliminary results.

The range of percentages of votes given by the pollsters was quite wide. Depending on how close the outcome eventually is, a clear picture could emerge quickly or take days or even weeks.

Source: Reuters

Share With Friends: