Country gets ready for its General Elections next Sunday. Ruling Socialist Party expects four more years of governing, but it has been losing power over the last weeks in the polls. Find out all you need to know here!
Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa, of the Partido Socialista, is confident that a “strong PS” will come out of this elections. Four years ago, the Partido Socialista was only able to form a government with the help of the Communist Party and the Left Bloc, two left-wing parties that secured a coalition with Mr Costa to win over the centre-right PSD.
For this election, however, much has changed, and Portuguese problems have moved out from the austerity shadow to meet with an unsustainable housing crisis boosted by the Tourist boom, a faulty healthcare system and a menacing breakdown in public services.
On the other hand, economic growth and control over public spending enabled Prime Minister Costa to respect his pact with the coalition parties of the left and balance the public accounts, leaving the right-wing opposition with no convincing argument against his government. This leaves the PS with a good chance of reaching a majority in Parliament on October 6.
For the last four years and under the leftist coalition (PS, Communist Party and Left Bloc), Portugal has been growing above the EU average. Financial stability, increase of minimum wage and public salaries and a general improvement of the quality of life have put Portugal on the map as a miracle after overcoming the tough austerity years of the right-wing PSD-CDS government.
WHAT DO THE POLLS SAY?
The expected tendency for next Sunday, as much as in the rest of Europe, is of the main parties losing votes while the smaller parties make progress.
Five out of the six main parties currently in Parliament have been losing points according to the tracking poll of Pitagórica for TVi, JN and TSF.
The two main parties, the ruling centre left Partido Socialista (PS) and centre right Partido Social Democrata (PSD) are currently separated by ten points. Left Bloc with ten points expects to land at least 27 seats at the Parliament, seven more than in the last election.
CDS, the Conservative Right-wing party of Portugal, will most certainly lose strength in Parliament, as is currently above the Green party PAN by only 1.3 points. The Green party PAN has been growing since the last European Elections, where it won 5.1% of the votes and was able to elect its first ever European Parliament member.
I AM AN EXPAT LIVING IN PORTUGAL. CAN I VOTE?
All EU citizens living as residents in Portugal are legally entitled to vote in certain Portuguese elections, namely the Local Municipal elections and the European Parliamentary elections.
For the General election coming next Sunday, October 6, you can also vote as long as you are a National from one of the countries in this list. You must also register as a voter.
To register you must go the Voting Commission (CR) of your Junta de Freguesia or to the Foreigner and Boarder Services (SEF).