• Tue. May 28th, 2024

Portugal’s Parliament Speaker Election Ends in Failure

Byeditor

Mar 27, 2024

The election of the President of Parliament faced a third unsuccessful attempt, highlighting deep political divisions in the newly elected “Assembleia da República” in Portugal on March 10th. At the constitutive meeting in Lisbon, all candidates failed to secure the necessary absolute majority of 116 votes, even in the final round of voting. MPs will reconvene on Wednesday to try again, with the possibility for parties to nominate new candidates. This situation sets a challenging tone for the new Prime Minister of Portugal, Luis Montenegro, who leads the conservative alliance Democratic Alliance (AD).

Montenegro’s candidate for President of Parliament, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, came in second in the third vote with 88 votes, trailing behind Francisco Assis of the Socialist Party PS who received 90 votes. Montenegro assumed the role of Prime Minister after his alliance won the most votes in the recent election, narrowly defeating the long-standing Socialists. However, the AD only holds 80 out of 230 seats in the new parliament, while the PS lost 42 seats and now has 78 MPs. The rise of the right-wing populist party Chega, led by André Ventura, with over 50 seats, adds further complexity to governing.

Given the unlikelihood of a “grand coalition” between conservatives and socialists and Montenegro’s refusal to collaborate with Chega, governing is expected to be challenging. If Montenegro fails to secure a majority in the upcoming parliamentary vote on his government program, the prospect of another election looms. As Montenegro prepares to present his cabinet on Thursday and the new government officially takes office on April 2nd, the political landscape in Portugal remains uncertain.

By editor

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