Socialist Party wins Portugal polls: Interior Ministry

MADRID

The Socialist Party (PS) won Sunday’s general elections in Portugal, but not a majority allowing it to come to power single-handedly, according to official results.

The country’s Interior Ministry said that the party got 106 seats in the 230-seat parliament, 10 seats short of the number required to form a government.

The party, which ruled the country with a minority government for the last four years with external support from the Communist Party and Left Bloc (BE), will again need to seek support to form a new government.

But the party won more votes and lawmakers compared to the last elections.

On the results, Prime Minister and party leader Antonio Costa said: “Political stability is the base for the international credibility of Portugal. The Portuguese people chose a stronger PS for a stable government.”

Stressing that his party emerged from the elections stronger, Costa added that the stability they have forged will be preserved for another four years.

Right-wing parties lose votes

In Sunday’s polls both the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Christian democratic People’s Party (PP), who won the 2015 elections in a coalition but failed to secure a majority to form a government, lost considerable votes.

The PSD got one of the worst results in its history, with 28% of the vote and 77 seats in parliament.

Assuncao Cristas, the party’s leader, accepted the loss and decided to hold an extraordinary council and not run for president.

The far-right Chega party won a single seat in parliament, the first time such a party has captured a seat in 45 years, since Portugal switched to democracy in 1974 following a four-decade fascist regime.

Record low turnout

Turnout in Sunday’s elections was the lowest since 1975 with 54%, two points less than the previous elections in 2015.

Distribution of the 230-seat parliament according to the results is as follows:

Socialist Party (PS) 106, Social Democratic Party (PSD) 77, Left Bloc (BE) 19, CDU (Greens Alliance with PCP-Communist Party) 13, People’s Party (PP) 5, People-Animals-Nature Party (PAN) 4, Chega 1, Liberal Initiative (IL) 1, Liberal (L) 1.

Distribution of the remaining four seats will be decided after ballots cast abroad are counted.

*Writing by Sena Guler
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