Portugal, in the hands of Marcelo Rebelo de Souza: The President’s Choice


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This is an unprecedented situation: in its 47 years of democracy, Parliament of the Portuguese Republic Already knocked down some National general budget. It happened this Wednesday.Partner of the socialist government Antonio Costa, Bloco de Esquerda (BE) and Communist Party of Portugal (PCP), Vote against the accounts, the executive did not get the necessary votes.

There is no majority, and admit “Personal failure” Unable to reach an agreement, Costa wore a candidate’s suit on the same podium in the parliament and began his campaign, calling for a “strengthening the majority.” “I believe my frustration and the frustration of left-wing voters can be transformed into Reinforced, stable and durable majority At the upcoming legislative meeting,” he said.

The ball is now by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo De SousaHe must decide the short-term future of the country and how the open political crisis will be resolved. Although the call for early elections is indeed taken for granted, it is not the only option.

It was Rebelo de Sousa who contributed to the stage of electoral progress. A few days before the budget vote, in a campaign that could be interpreted as exerting pressure on the left, the president publicly stated that if there is no budget, he will dissolve the parliament and hold elections in advance.

After the vote, Rebelo de Sousa had dinner with the Prime Minister and the President of Parliament. This Friday, you will receive a social agent, He met with party leaders on Saturday On Wednesday, November 3, he will convene a meeting of the Council of State in an extraordinary way. Then he will announce what his decision is.

Other budget?

In an interview with the media, the leader of the Socialist Party’s parliament, Anna Catarina Mendes, Asking the president to call elections “as soon as possible.” However, left-wing parties, including the two parties that overturned the budget, prefer Rebelo de Sousa to give the government a new opportunity to propose a new budget.

“We think the president has been sloppy in his statement. Before dissolving the Parliament of the Republic, other alternatives can be explored, such as proposing a new budget,” he said. Ines Sosa Real, Spokesperson of Pessoas-Animais-Natureza Party (PAN).

This will be a possibility, but it must be approved by Antonio Costa, because submitting the budget is the prerogative of the government, and the president cannot force him if he does not want to do so.

When leaving the parliament, Costa stated that he was prepared to respect the president’s decision, but he did not even offer the possibility of resubmitting the documents: “The government respects the president’s own power, and we will follow his decision: Participate in the election, if this is your decision, or use twelfth, If that is your decision. “

The last possibility is another option for early elections. This is about governance by dividing 2021 spending between 12 months. However, this legal formula brings some difficulties when using the European Recovery Fund.

Rights in reconstruction

If, as everything seems to indicate, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa calls for early elections, then voting will begin at the beginning of this year, when January 9, 16 and 23 As the most likely date.

In this case, political strategy begins to work, and in this sense, the right wing may be at a disadvantage.Despite successfully winning Lisbon in the recent municipal elections, Social Democratic Party (PSD), the main force of the opposition, has not had its best moment.

Their leader, Relio, To see his leadership being questioned by the European Parliament Paul Rangel Holding the general election ahead of schedule will force the convening of the party congress to be expedited. Rio Tinto, which supported the government throughout the pandemic, believes that it is precisely because of its moderates that its stance has been shaken, which is a sign of weakness in some parts of its party.

and also Christian Democratic Party CDSThose who gradually lose their influence and focus on internal struggles will be at a disadvantage.

In recent years, the Portuguese right has been completely fragmented. The above two parties have a long history in national politics, and now there are two other parties joining: Freedom Initiative,as well as Chega on the far right. The scope is so wide that it may lead to uneven distribution of votes, making it impossible to form a government.

In addition, the fact that the Social Democratic Party won the right wing victory by a narrow margin may place the Social Democratic Party before accepting the position of the extreme right in the national government.

Andre Ventura The leader of Chega and the only far-right representative in the Republic’s parliament so far will be the only one who has clearly benefited from this election once they see an increase in the percentage of votes for each vote.

No majority

Leftist analysts agree that voters may punish those forces that drag down the budget. Bloco de Esquerda and the Communist Party They will be weakened in the polls, as has happened in the municipal elections in September.

How the results will affect the Socialist Party remains to be seen. In other words, if voters buy government speeches, it will do everything possible to get the budget approved, or if it buys stories from the left-wing opposition accusing it of stubbornness.

Nevertheless, the only certainty is that the voting will involve the establishment of a new puzzle In the Parliament of the Republic, because no political party will win the majority required to govern alone.Of course, if it is made by Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa.


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