Portugal: Ruling Socialists Win Election But Don't Have Majority

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The Socialists won the parliamentary election in Portugal on October 6, yet missed the mark that would have given them a full majority in the assembly

Written By Ruchit Rastogi | Mumbai | Updated On:

Portugal's ruling Socialists won the October 6 parliamentary election. However, they failed to get the numbers that would have given them a majority. This means that Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, will have to table another arrangement with either of his far-left partners in the past government.

Well within the reach of a full majority

Opinion polls dating back a couple of weeks stated that Antonio Costa, due to his popularity was well within the reach of achieving a full majority. This witnessed his Socialist party get stronger but still in need of promising supporters. Costa said voters loved the 2015 arrangement that saw the Left Bloc and the Communists support his Socialists to sideline the right. He further added that he needed it to continue, saying that he intended to come at a mutual agreement with the upstart People-Animals-Nature (PAN) party.

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With the greater part of the votes counted, the Socialists were at the frontline with 106 seats and that put them at the forefront. However, with just four seats still not represented, they don't arrive at a majority of 116 seats in the 230 seat assembly. 

Costa's minority government has received positive comments from Brussels and at home for consolidating monetary control with measures to advance development after the time of recession and the starkness of Portugal's 2010-14 debt emergency. He advised supporters he would keep on cutting the monetary deficit alongside the debt. However, that could be confounded by his allies' demands in the political sphere.

Negotiations are not expected to be as complicated or as long as in Spain, which still has no administration more than five months after its elections were conducted and is setting out towards recurrent voting in the month of November. 

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A political alliance

In 2015, it took under two months for Costa to arrive at an arrangement with his radical partners and become the Prime Minister.
Pioneers for the Left Bloc and the Communists both said they had no issues with Costa being selected as the Portuguese Prime Minister and were ready to sit down for negotiations if the Socialists focused on improving the lives of labourers. 

The fundamental opposition, Social Democrats (PSD), won 28% of the votes and 77 seats, as indicated by the initial outcomes, one of their weakest outcomes ever. PAN pulled in a greater number of votes than in the past political elections, becoming popular among pro-environment parties in Europe, in order to have four seats. Be that as it may, those seats are insufficient for the Socialists to rule with them alone.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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