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Portugal to get centre-right government

  • March 22, 2024
  • 2 min read
Portugal to get centre-right government

The Portuguese president has invited centre-right politician Luis Montenegro to form a minority government. The Democratic Alliance (AD) won a snap election but fell short of winning a majority in the country’s parliament. The party rejected working with Chega (meaning enough), a far-right party, which gained a record number of seats.

Portugal’s ruling party since 2015 was the Socialists. Some have described the current situation as being the most fragmented parliament since the end of its dictatorship decades ago.

The country’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa invited Montenegro to become prime minster after consulting with the leaders of other parties.

“With the Democratic Alliance winning the elections in terms of mandates and votes, and having the Secretary General of the Socialist Party confirming that he would be leader of the opposition, the President of the Republic decided to nominate Dr Luís Montenegro as prime minister,” said a statement from the presidential administration.

The AD gained 80 seats, falling short of the 116 it needs for a majority. The party will need support, either from the Socialists who have 78 seats, or Chega with 50, if it hopes to pass legislation.

Montenegro refused to answer questions on how he would form a majority in parliament before he begun to appoint ministers.

“All issues that have to do with the exercise of government activity will be taken up when there is a government, communicated and explained when there is a government,” he said to reporters. “There is a relative, not absolute, majority.”

He has repeated his refusal to work Chega. André Ventura, the party leader and a former football commentator, hopes to play ‘kingmaker’ in the new parliament. Montenegro will replace Antonio Costa who has led Portugal since 2015 as Socialist party leader. However, Costa stepped down following corruption allegations even though he had not been named as a suspect.

Lower salaries and soaring rents are among the issues for voters who felt unsatisfied with Costa’s centre-left rule.

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