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Elections in Portugal: who are the candidates?

This Sunday, January 30, Portugal will hold legislative elections that will define the distribution of the 230 seats

of the Assembly of the Republic for the XV Legislature .

The elections come after an early election caused by the rejection of the Communist Party and the Bloc of Left to the Budgets presented by the prime minister, the socialist António Costa. This fact forced to interrupt the XIV Legislature when barely two years of the planned four had been completed.

The appointment with the polls will define, therefore, the parliamentary representation of each formation with a view to the configuration of a new Government in the Portuguese country.

Five will be the main parties who will attend these elections. All of them repeat the head of the list with respect to the previous electoral appointment, which took place in 2019. These are the candidates with the most options to occupy the position of maximum responsibility in the country.

Socialist Party (PS) – António Costa

He is the prime minister of the country since 2015 and is running for a third term. In the previous two, it has been forced to agree with other left-wing forces to achieve a sufficient majority, however, its disagreements with these formations have led to the current electoral call. He is 60 years old and before presiding over the Government he served for almost a decade as mayor of Lisbon. As the main electoral assets, the management of the pandemic and the financial stability of public accounts can play in their favor.

Social Democratic Party (PSD) – Rui Rio

The center-right liberal formation, which has taken turns in power with the socialists during practically the entirety of the current democratic stage, obtained in 2019 one of its worst historical results

, falling below one and a half million votes. However, Rui Rio repeats as a candidate after prevailing in a tight primary process against Paulo Rangel. He is 63 years old and was mayor of Porto for a little less than 12 years. The party maintains the head of state, through the current president of the republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

Bloco de Esquerda (BE) – Catarina Martins

The party based on concepts such as feminism, environmentalism and opposition to racism continues its slow but progressive growth since its creation at the end of the last century. In the last two elections it has established itself as third force, surpassing to formations with greater historical weight such as the Communist Party or the conservative CDS-PP. The candidate is 48 years old and is running for the third time.

Unitarian Democratic Coalition (CDU) – Jerónimo de Sousa

The general secretary of the Communist Party, 74, repeats at the head of this alliance that includes the Ecologist Party Os Verdes and to the platform Democratic Intervention. He has been elected as a deputy uninterruptedly since 1975, in a total of 14 consecutive elections. He has also run twice for the presidency of the republic. His formation, however, has been progressively losing support during most of this century.

Chega! (CH) – André Ventura

The far-right formation created in 2019 achieved a seat in his first electoral presence. Its occupant, André Ventura (39 years old, former member of the PSD), repeats as a candidate after presenting himself last year for the presidency of the republic, obtaining 12% support, with almost half a million votes. The party has followed the strategies of Vox in Spain for its emergence and consolidation, and the polls give it a possible growth in these elections.

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Other candidates

With fewer options theoretical part of a historical formation, such as the conservative party CDS-PP. Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos will be his candidate after the notable decline suffered in the last elections with Assunçao Cristas as head of the list. For its part, the Animalista Party, already with parliamentary representation, presents Inés Sousa Real, and Liberal Initiative supports Joao Cotrim de Figueiredo.

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