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The Portuguese center right is in crisis after a historic defeat and superior progress

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This content was published on Jan 31, 2022 – 16:19

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Lisbon, January 31 (EFE). – The electoral failure of the Portuguese Social Democratic Party (PSD, centre-right) opens the way for its leader, Rui Rio, and leads to an internal crisis exacerbated by an absolute socialist majority and a sudden explosion. The growth of the far right in Portugal.

“I don’t see how I can be useful to the PSD in this regard,” Rio admitted last night devastated by the defeat: 28% of the vote, one of the party’s worst results.

“There was a very overwhelmingly beneficial vote on the left.” For the second time, Rio has lost to socialist leader and Prime Minister Antonio Costa – the first was in 2019 – although this fall has been even tougher, if possible, because it was preceded by a clear technical tie, according to opinion polls. .

Elections fail again in Portugal, and the man who only a few days ago mentioned “ministerial positions” for a conservative government is today being referred to as the senior person in charge of the “desert crossing” that opens to the PSD.

It is not only a landslide socialist victory, but also a meteoric advance for the liberal initiative and, above all, the Chega far-right.

Moderate right is looking for its place

Rio’s moderation against the Socialists and his willingness to dialogue in the event of a tie had its effect.

Analyst Helena Pereira noted today in Público: “Rio Costa may have helped. By acknowledging making a viable socialist government, he helped the undecided vote for the original version and left the oath free.”

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Under pressure from IL and Chega, “the PSD’s policy will be more right-wing,” political science professor Jose Pinto told Efe.

Although thanks to failed opinion polls, Rio was able to restore hope to his party, today’s PSD rules call out and urgently call for an extraordinary congress.

The defeat of the PSD dragged its natural ally, the Christian Democrats from the CDS-PP, the party that decisively contributed to the democratic transition and disappears from the council. A wreath in front of his residence in Lisbon is today invited to his funeral.

too fragile

“The soft opposition is over.” And the far-right Andre Ventura announced last night his intention to become Costa’s “scourge” in Parliament. His other big election day victory is no less impressive to announce: from one to 12 seats.

A devout Catholic, this former sports commentator has emerged from the polls with a provocative and xenophobic message that fuels the scandal and, incidentally, included his appearances in the media.

He was measured against Portugal’s best-value politician, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the presidential election a year ago and achieved half a million votes and popularity he has now used to impress 385,000 voters and position himself as Portugal’s third power. .

The Liberals are demanding their position

The liberal initiative also plays a role in the new Political Council, which is jumping from 1 deputy to 8 chaired by João Qutrim de Figueiredo, an executive formed in some of the country’s most important business groups, and who, at the age of 60, is advocating nonstop privatization.

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The flow of Chega and IL’s votes allows them to propose the assembly’s vice presidents.

Jose Pinto expects her advance to increase Portugal’s political “bipolarity”

March / pfm / fpa


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