Portugal’s ruling coalition wins general election

Portugal’s centre-right coalition won Sunday’s general election; but lost the absolute majority it had in the parliament, Portuguese broadcaster Rádio Renascença reported.

The coalition is once again led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho. It comprises the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Conservative Popular Party (CDS-PP).

On Sunday, the centre-right coalition obtained 36.83 percent of the votes. Added to the coalition’s ballot tally were votes PSD and CDS-PP obtained in the Portuguese autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira. PSD and CDS-PP ran separately there. In total the coalition secured 104 seats in the 230-seat Portuguese parliament.

In his victory speech, Mr Passos Coelho said he would interpret the results “with humility” and do his best to seek compromise and add “stability to the economic recovery policies [pursued] in the last four years”.

Portugal’s main opposition, the centre-left Socialist Party (PS), obtained 32.38 percent of the votes and a total of 85 seats.

The Left Block (BE) party has become the third political force in the Portuguese parliament following the latest ballot, with 19 legislators elected; two more than the Democratic Unitary Coalition (CDU). The latter is formed from the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the ‘Ecological Party – “The Greens”’ (PEV).

The turnout in Sunday’s general election fell to 56.93 percent from 58.93 percent in the previous election in 2011, official data from Portugal’s National Election Commission showed.

Portugal’s economy grew 0.9 percent last year, after contracting for three consecutive years. Portugal’s gross domestic product grew 1.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2015.

In May 2014 Portugal exited a three-year bailout programme from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.