Portugal’s political turmoil: third failed attempt to elect President of Parliament highlights deep divisions

Portugal’s Parliament Speaker Election Ends in Failure

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). Montenegro’s candidate for President of Parliament, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, came in second in the third vote with 88 votes, trailing behind Francisco Assis of the Socialist Party PS who received 90 votes.

Given the unlikelihood of a “grand coalition” between conservatives and socialists and Montenegro’s refusal to collaborate with Chega, governing is expected to be challenging. If Montenegro fails to secure a majority in the upcoming parliamentary vote on his government program, the prospect of another election looms. As Montenegro prepares to present his cabinet on Thursday and the new government officially takes office on April 2nd, the political landscape in Portugal remains uncertain.

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