May 21, 2024

Portugal: Luis Montenegro appointed Prime Minister – Politics

Eleven days after early parliamentary elections in Portugal, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa appointed conservative politician Luis Montenegro as the new head of government. This was announced by the presidential office in Lisbon early Thursday morning. Montenegro's conservative coalition Aliance Demokratica (AD) received the most votes in the elections held on Sunday a week ago, narrowly edging out the Socialists, who have been in power for eight years, but clearly lack a parliamentary majority.

After counting almost all the votes, including those from abroad, the Conservatives only got about a third of the total 230 seats in parliament. The biggest winner in the election was Andre Ventura of the right-wing populist Chiga party, which more than quadrupled its number of seats. Since Montenegro has described Ceja as a “xenophobic” and “racist” party and has repeatedly refused to cooperate with populists, governance is likely to be very difficult for it.

As Prime Minister, he must now present his government's program to Parliament. If he is unlikely to obtain a majority in favor, another new election will likely be held. Things will get very serious when Montenegro has to pass the draft budget through Parliament.

Forming a “grand coalition” between conservatives and socialists is considered impossible in Portugal. As in neighboring Spain, the two main parties are in fact divided by insurmountable differences.

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