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Portugal Faces Political Stalemate as Election for President of Parliament Fails: What Lies Ahead for the New Prime Minister and Governing Coalition

Portugal’s Parliament Speaker Election Ends in Failure

Portugal Faces Political Stalemate as Election for President of Parliament Fails: What Lies Ahead for the New Prime Minister and Governing Coalition

The election of the President of Parliament in Portugal faced a third unsuccessful attempt, highlighting deep political divisions in the newly elected “Assembleia da República” on March 10th. At the constitutive meeting in Lisbon, all candidates failed to secure the necessary absolute majority of 116 votes, even in the final round of voting. MPs will reconvene on Wednesday to try again, with the possibility for parties to nominate new candidates. This situation sets a challenging tone for the new Prime Minister of Portugal, Luis Montenegro, who leads the conservative alliance Democratic Alliance (AD).

Despite winning the most votes in the recent election and leading a conservative alliance, Montenegro’s candidate for President of Parliament came in second place with 88 votes. Chega, a right-wing populist party led by André Ventura, won over 50 seats and added complexity to governing. If Montenegro fails to secure a majority in the upcoming parliamentary vote on his government program, another election could be looming.

The political landscape in Portugal remains uncertain as Montenegro prepares to present his cabinet on Thursday and take office on April 2nd. Given that there is no likelihood of a “grand coalition” between conservatives and socialists and Montenegro refuses to collaborate with Chega, governing is expected to be challenging.

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