Center-right candidate Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wins Portugal’s presidential election, an outcome that should help maintain political balance after a dramatic swing to the left in October’s parliamentary ballot. Diane Hodges reports.
Portugal elects new president
It may be a largely ceremonial position, but Portugal’s new president-elect is celebrating.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won Sunday’s election with 52-per-cent of the vote, easily defeating his nearest rival.
Portugal is likely to need a leader with broad support as a shaky government coalition works to find a balance between election pledges to end austerity and European Union requirements to cut the budget deficit.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) WINNER OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, MARCELO REBELO DE SOUSA, SAYING:
“As president I will do everything to bring the Portuguese closer, building bridges, healing wounds. We will be stronger, as we will fight injustices and promote credibility and hope for the future.”
Few analysts expect Portugal’s socialist-led government to serve a full four-year term.
As president, the Center-right Rebelo de Sousa will have the crucial power to dissolve parliament and fire the Prime Minister — a role that is especially important during the current time of political uncertainty.