Portugal President Sousa to Serve a New Term After Election Win

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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.

Portugal President Sousa to Serve a New Term After Election Win

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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