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Ruling party set for comeback in Portugal

[ 2009-09-28 13:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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LISBON: The Portuguese cast their votes yesterday in an election that could bring greater political uncertainty as the ruling Socialists are expected to win but fall short of an absolute majority.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates, an energetic 52-year-old, is expected to win around 38 percent of the vote, according to the latest polls. That result will leave him short of his current majority and he is likely to have to rule with a minority.

The highest unemployment rate since the 1980s and the worst economic downturn in decades has not been enough to push the Portuguese away from the center-left Socialists, who launched market reforms and cleaned up public finances in their first term.

Manuela Ferreira Leite, 68, the candidate for the center-right Social Democrats, has fared poorly against Socrates, analysts said.

Analysts said that a minority government would not be a disaster, but could reduce Socrates' ability to make ambitious reforms. He won 45 percent of the vote in 2005, giving him a strong absolute majority in parliament, allowing him to clean up public finances and to reform pensions and the civil service.

"If the Socialists get 38 percent of the vote as the polls indicate, it is not the worst of situations for their survival, it has been done in the past," analyst Antonio Costa Pinto said.

(英语点津 许雅宁编辑)

Ruling party set for comeback in Portugal

About the broadcaster:

Ruling party set for comeback in Portugal

Chantal Anderson is a multimedia journalist at the China Daily Web site. Originally from Seattle, Washington she has found her way around the world doing photo essays in Greece, Mexico and Thailand. She is currently completing a double degree in Journalism and International Studies from the University of Washington.