How the elections went in full pandemic in Portugal

How the elections went in full pandemic in Portugal

Outgoing president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has won a second term. But the most important figure of these elections is the growth in the support of the Portuguese far right, which has increased almost tenfold compared to the 2019 general elections

Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (photo: Horacio Villalobos / Getty Images ) Yesterday, with a very high abstention rate - 60.5% - the citizens of Portugal took part in the elections to choose the President of the Republic. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, moderate center-right candidate of the Social Democratic Party, secured a second term by winning 60.7% of the votes. Behind him, with a great detachment, came the candidate Ana Gomes enrolled in the Socialist Party, with 12.9% of the votes. In third place the candidate of the far-right party Chenga! André Ventura, who won 11.9% of the vote, multiplying by nine times the popular support he enjoyed in the 2019 general elections.

As the country faces a new lockdown and the holding of the its health system falters under the weight of the infections, 4 million voters went to the polls, following the anti-Covid 19 provisions provided for by the electoral law passed last November. More seats and fewer people per seat, mobile seats for those in solitary confinement and the obligation to prune their pencil from home. In addition, 246 thousand voters and electricians took advantage of the early vote, expressing their preferences already on the Sunday before election day.

The victory of Rebelo de Sousa confirms Portugal's desire to give continuity to the government of the country, a presidential republic whose executive is headed by the president of the republic. Elected for the first time in 2016, Rebelo de Sousa has been governing since then in cohabitation with Prime Minister Antonio Costa of the Socialist Party, in office since 2015. The president was supported by the center-right and the center-left. In fact, the PS, which is the majority party, has not expressed its own candidate or candidate in the consultations, leaving Gomes with the burden of presenting himself as independent. "I am honored by your trust during this time of such dire difficulty," said the president-elect in his speech after the victory. He went on to announce that the fight against the coronavirus and the commitment to the country's economic recovery will be central to his agenda and that of the government.

Rebelo de Souasa's victory was predicted by analysts, based on of polls and the Portuguese tradition of always re-electing their presidents for a second term. While the result of Andrè Ventura was the real surprise of these consultations. The party of him Chenga! had obtained about 60 thousand preferences in the policies of 2019, bringing for the first time a far-right candidate to the seats of the Portuguese parliament, after the end of the dictatorship of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.

Yesterday, however, 500 thousand voters and electricians they gave their support to Ventura. "For the first time, an anti-system party has disturbed the traditional right," he declared after counting the results. Its political program includes the fight against immigration, the strengthening of borders, the increase in the powers of the president of the republic, a flat tax of 15% and a special confinement for Roma to cope with the pandemic. In addition, in the last days of the election campaign he had been at the center of media attention for having called the presidential candidate Marisa Matias of the Left Bloc a "doll", guilty only of wearing bright lipstick. This statement then spawned a solidarity campaign towards Matias, whose participants wore red lipstick. The 38-year-old populist candidate announced he was going to presidential elections to "crush the left" and, comparing his result with the 3.9% of the Left Bloc candidate, he may have come close enough.

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