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After four years of severe cuts, Pedro Passos Coelho’s centre-right coalition receives 38% of votes, but loses majority. Leftists groups grow, but not enough to form a stable alternative.
The centre-right coalition that has applied the European austerity plan in Portugal won the legislative election on Sunday, 5 October.
“It would be strange if we the most voted party is not allowed to form a government”, PSD-CDS coalition leader Pedro Passos-Coelho said after receiving 38.5% of the votes (104 MPs, twenty-eight down from the previous election). “But it is important to admit that the parliament is now different”, he added, after losing the majority.
The Socialist Party, led by António Costa was not able to beat the government and came second with 32.4% (85 MPs, nine more). Other leftist groups like BE (10.2%) and the Communists (8.1%) also got better results.
FOUR YEARS OF SEVERE CUTS
In the last 4 years, Passos Coelho’s government applied difficult austerity measures, which included the privatisation of public companies and other cuts in the public administration which brought the deficit down from 7.5% to 3%.
The unemployment rate has also fallen, from 17.5% to 12.4%.
Only 57% of the population went to vote, in a historic low of democratic participation.