Portugal votes in snap elections with far-right hoping to gain ground – Archyde

Portugal agrees in a early parliamentary elections this is unlikely to result in a majority government, but could result in the far-right Chega party becoming the third-strongest faction in parliament.



Photo: Armando Franca / AP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photo: Armando Franca / AP

Sunday’s election was triggered in December following the long-running accord between Prime Minister António Costa’s minority socialist government and its allies in the Portuguese Communist Party and left-bloc collapsed during the negotiations for the adoption of the 2022 budget.

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The Unlikely Alliance – known as the lowonça, or improvised solution – finally collapsed when, after weeks of tense negotiations, the communists and the left bloc, together with right-wing parties, rejected the budget proposal.

The election, held two years ahead of schedule, will delay approval of a spending program by $45 billion.

Related: Divisions on the left will buoy the far-right TV pundit in Portugal’s snap elections

Costa, who has been Prime Minister since 2015, had accused his former man lowonça Partners from irresponsible behavior by voting against his budget and hopes to rule alone if re-elected.

Despite the seemingly unstable nature of its minority government, Costa has received praise for transforming Portugal’s post-crisis economy, reversing unpopular austerity measures and overseeing one of the most successful Covid vaccination programs in Europe.

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Activist forms new party against ‘electoral dictatorship’ in Westminster

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“Everyone recognizes how important this election is and how important it is that there is a solid victory that will bring stability to the country and create the consensus and national unity that is fundamental for us to end this pandemic. ” Costa said at a rally in Porto on Friday.

However, recent polls suggest that the centre-right Social Democrats (PSD) are ahead of the Socialists – although neither party is on track to win an outright majority. Once again, the party with the most votes will need the support of smaller parties to govern.

The Social Democrats have promised to raise the minimum wage in western Europe’s poorest country to €900 a month from €705 a month, while the PSD has pledged to cut taxes on corporate profits and personal income.



Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa (centre) during a rally in Lisbon.  Photo: Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa (centre) during a rally in Lisbon. Photo: Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images

According to polls, the Chega party around the militant ex-TV football expert André Ventura is gaining more and more supporters and could replace the left-wing bloc as the third strongest force in parliament. Chega’s anti-Roma rhetoric, attacks on welfare recipients and slandering what they see as a corrupt elite have begun to resonate with many voters.

After winning a seat in the 2019 general election – with 1.3% of the vote – the party secured 11.9% presidential election last year.

While PSD leader Rui Rio rules out a coalition with Chega, Ventura’s party could still play a key role in forming or sustaining a PSD government.

If the predictions are correct, Chega could emulate the example Spain’s far-right Vox party, which is the third largest party in Congress as of November 2019. Not only has Vox proved pivotal in the formation of three regional governments in Spain, but it has also swept the country’s conservative People’s Party further to the right.

On Saturday, Vox leader Santiago Abascal hosted a meeting in Madrid with other European politicians from the extreme right, including Marine Le Pen of France and Viktor Orbán of Hungary.

“We are the ones defending Europe,” Abascal told the event. “We will not allow the hammer and sickle flag to be flown, nor the crescent moon flag, nor the dark flag of the global elites.”

Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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