Without a majority, the center-right takes power in Portugal and asks that the opposition not be a ‘blockade’ of the government | World

Without a majority, the center-right takes power in Portugal and asks that the opposition not be a ‘blockade’ of the government | World
Without a majority, the center-right takes power in Portugal and asks that the opposition not be a ‘blockade’ of the government | World
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1 of 1 Prime Minister of Portugal Luís Montenegro speaks during the inauguration ceremony on April 2, 2024. — Photo: Pedro Nunes/Reuters
Prime Minister of Portugal Luís Montenegro speaks during the inauguration ceremony on April 2, 2024. — Photo: Pedro Nunes/Reuters

In his inauguration speech, Montenegro asked that “the oppositions” let him govern — without “blocking” the management’s initiatives. He cited in particular the left-wing Socialist Party, which governed Portugal until the beginning of this year: “Be clear and authentic about the attitude you are going to take: be a democratic opposition or be a democratic blockade”said the Prime Minister.

Montenegro further added that “not rejecting the government’s program does not mean a blank check, but it does not mean a blank check.”

The new prime minister is from the Democratic Alliance (AD), a coalition of center-right parties that does not have a majority in the country’s Parliament.

The AD was the front with the most votes in the last parliamentary elections, on March 10, and therefore had the prerogative to form the government. The alliance remained with 80 deputies. In second place was the Socialist Party, the party’s main opponent in the country, with 78. O He arrivesan extreme right-wing party, had significant growth and reached 50 deputies.

After negotiations after the elections, AD did not align with either the left-wing PS or Chega, so Luís Montenegro’s government will be a minority.

The Left Bloc criticized Montenegro’s speech, saying that he revived a “terrible right-wing tradition of calling opposition forces blocking forces.”

Chega will also be in opposition to the government, according to the party leader, André Ventura. After the inauguration ceremony, Ventura said Montenegro made a choice and “that choice is the Socialist Party.”

“The PSD chose the PS as its interlocutor and it is with the PS that it will have to come to an understanding. Chega will lead the opposition in Parliament”, he stated. Ventura also added that Chega will not be a “blocking force”, but a “building force”.

Montenegro too asked the opposition to let him govern until the end of his termfour and a half years old.

“Not rejecting the government’s program in Parliament does not just mean allowing the government to begin. It means allowing its execution until the end of the mandate or, at the limit, until the approval of a motion of censure”, stated Montenegro.

How the government works in Portugal

In Portugal, the regime is not the same as in Brazil. The European country operates under a semi-presidential regime, formed by a president and a prime minister. As the Democratic Alliance did not achieve a majority — it obtained 80 of the 230 seats —, it will form a minority government.

To form a majority, the AD, a center-right party, would need to associate itself with a left-wing party (the Socialist Party) or the extreme right (Chega). This did not happened.

Thus, in practice, the new government will need to negotiate with the other parties in Parliament at each vote. In an election to choose a president of the House on Wednesday, the AD had the support of the Socialist Party.

According to the newspaper “Público”, only three minority governments managed to reach the end of their mandate in Portugal. The last of them was that of António Costa, from the Socialist Party, between 2015 and 2019 — who, upon taking office, formed a coalition nicknamed “geringonça”, uniting left and right. In the 2021 elections, Costa had a majority in Parliament and did not need to compromise with the right. He resigned in 2023.

See below a report on Montenegro’s victory.

Right-wing leader is new prime minister of Portugal

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: majority centerright takes power Portugal asks opposition blockade government World

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