Portugal goes to the ballot boxes one week ahead of the national elections

One week ahead of the national elections, citizens of Portugal have gone to the ballot boxes

With the official national elections date set at January 30 in Portugal, the country’s citizens have been allowed to start casting their votes one week early. Ballot boxes were put out on Sunday, January 23, in an effort to avoid over-crowding at the polling stations on the actual day of the elections, in view of the pandemic.
More than 300,000 Portuguese signed up for the early voting scheme, including Antonio Costa, the country’s incumbent prime minister. “Voting is the most important moment of democracy”, said Costa as he visited one of the stations.
“It is a unique moment when only citizens decide what the outcome of the elections will be, it’s when they decide what they want for their future, and they choose their representatives”, he continued.

Adding, “Participation in the electoral process is the most important act of democratic vitality, and I want to appeal to all the Portuguese to exercise their civic right, today, if they were registered for early voting, or in a week’s time as usual”.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had called a snap election back in November, after Costa failed to secure support in parliament for his 2022 budget. Since Portugal’s return to democratic rule in the mid-1970s, that is an action that had never been necessary before.
More than ever, due to the billions of euros that are available in European aid from the pandemic, the state budget was seen as more important than ever, as it will have to deal with the distribution and use of said funding.
Costa has been prime minister of Portugal since 2015, and recent polls have shown his Socialist Party to be in the lead with 38% of the vote. Their main rivals are the Social Democratic Party, which has around 30% of the vote.
The biggest danger for Costa is that if the rival party secures too high a percentage then he could be left without a working majority in government once again.
With Covid still a huge issue in the country, the government has issued a recommendation that any citizens who are in mandatory isolation are allowed to go and vote next Sunday 30, as reported by euronews.com.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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