The Portuguese elect a parliament that could shift to the right

The Portuguese elect a parliament that could shift to the right

The Portuguese vote on Sunday in legislative elections in which the center-right opposition hopes to consolidate its slight lead in the opinion polls but risks having to deal with rising populists.

Three months before the European elections, these elections in Portugal may confirm that the far right is on the rise across the Old Continent, as Italian and Dutch voters have shown.

The Iberian nation was one of the few countries in Europe led by the left when socialist Antonio Costa, who had been in power for eight years, resigned in early November, forgoing a run for another term after he was cited in an investigation for influence peddling.

Polling stations open their doors at eight in the morning (local time and GMT) and local media will broadcast several predictions of the results, based on opinion polls, at eight in the evening.

The results of the vote, in which about 10.8 million voters are expected to participate, are scheduled to be announced in the evening, with the end of vote counting.

With just over 30% of voting intentions, the center-right Democratic Alliance led by Luis Montenegro (51 years old) was leading in the opinion polls before the vote, with a narrow margin over the Socialist Party, which gathered around Pedro. Nuno Santos, 46 years old.

Risk of reaching a dead end

The third political force since the January 2022 legislative elections, which the Socialist Party won with an absolute majority, the anti-regime Chiga (Enough) party led by Andre Ventura, 41, could double its points in the last legislative elections and obtain nearly 17% of the vote.

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Despite the large number of undecided people, opinion polls conducted before the election predict that the entire right (composed of the Democratic Action Party, Chega, and the Liberal Initiative) will be in the majority in the next parliament.

But Luis Montenegro, a veteran jurist and parliamentarian, has already ruled out forming a government with the support of the far-right, putting him at risk of causing a deadlock if he does not secure a 230-seat majority on his own or through an alliance with the liberals.

“Don't worry. First, the Portuguese people will give us stability. Then he announced on Friday during his last rally: “We, with our performance, will guarantee that.”

For his part, his main opponent, socialist Pedro Nuno Santos, stated throughout the election campaign that the right, during its last period in power, between 2011 and 2015, implemented severe budget austerity.

The balance sheet is distorted

This former minister from the left wing of the Socialist Party confirmed: “When there is a crisis, we already know that they attack salaries and pensions.”

The third man in this electoral race, populist Andre Ventura, for his part, stressed that the two main centrist parties, which have shared power since the advent of democracy in Portugal, only 50 years ago, “are not two sides (of the party).” same currency).

“No one can succeed the other. For change, we need Chega,” said the law professor and former football commentator, known for his xenophobic attacks against the Roma minority.

Despite strengthening public finances, growth above the European average, and unemployment at record lows, the socialist government's record has been marred by inflation, dysfunctional health services and schools, as well as a powerful housing crisis.

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Added to this is the series of corruption scandals that eventually brought down Antonio Costa, and the doubling of the immigrant population within five years, two promising topics for the far right.

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About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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