Portugal President Sousa to Serve a New Term After Election Win
(Bloomberg) -- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won re-election to a second five-year term on Sunday, a sign of political stability as the country tries to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebelo de Sousa, 72, took 61% of the vote with 99.9% of the country’s voting districts reporting, according to the government’s election website. Portuguese presidents have usually served two terms.
In Portugal, the prime minister and his government set policy. The president is mainly a figurehead, though he has the authority to appoint the premier and dissolve parliament. Rebelo de Sousa, a law professor and former leader of center-right party PSD, became popular as a political commentator on television before his initial election in 2016.
The ruling Socialist Party of Prime Minister Antonio Costa didn’t present a candidate. Ana Gomes, a candidate who is a Socialist, placed second in the election with 13%. Andre Ventura, the leader and only lawmaker of the right-wing Chega party that says it wants to fight illegal immigration, took 12% of the vote.
While confinement measures are in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, travel was allowed on Sunday for voting. Portugal on Saturday reported a record daily increase in confirmed virus cases and the government said on Sunday that Defense Minister Joao Cravinho is the latest member of cabinet to test positive for Covid-19.
“Everything starts with the fight against this pandemic,” Rebelo de Sousa said in a speech late on Sunday.
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