Socialist Party all set to form government again in Portugal

The Socialist Party led by Antonio Costa won 106 seats in the 230-seat parliament. It is likely that its leftist allies, the Left Bloc and the Portuguese Communist Party-led CDU, will continue support to the government

October 08, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Socialist Party all set to form government again in Portugal
Prime minister Antonio Costa's Socialist Party won 20 more seats than last time.

In the parliamentary elections held in Portugal on October 6, the Socialist Party (PS) under the leadership of prime minister Antonio Costa emerged as the single largest force in parliament and is likely to form the government. The PS got 106 seats in the 230-seat parliament and 36.7% of the votes. It had got 86 seats in the 2015 elections. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) – the single largest party in the previous parliament – lost 12 seats and ended up with 77 and 27.9% of the vote. The nationalist conservative CDS-People’s Party won 5 seats, which is 13 less than last time.

The Bloco Esquerda (Left Bloc) and the Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) list led by the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) got 19 seats and 12 seats respectively. Both of these had supported the government and may do so this time as well. The CDU, which also has the Greens (PEV), lost 5 seats compared to the previous elections while the Left Bloc retained its seats.

Following the declaration of the results, Antonio Costa said that his government’s arrangements with the CDU and the Left Bloc had worked. He also seemed to indicate that it would continue. The Guardian reported that the Left Bloc and the CDU would demand “wage increases, greater public spending and improved labor laws” in return for continuing their support. Costa also added that he would talk to the People-Animals-Nature party (PAN) party, which won four parliamentary seats.

Following the elections of October 2015, a conservative coalition led by the PSD came to power. But the government was overthrown by the Socialist Party with the support of the Left Bloc and the CUD. Costa became prime minister in November 2015. Reports say that Costa was able to return to power due to a growing economy and political stability. He also repealed many of the unpopular austerity policies implemented by the previous government.

The far right-ultra nationalist group, Chega, won one seat in parliament.