Socialists retain power in Portugal

Ruling party wins general election but with reduced majority in parliament.

    More than 60 per cent of the eligible voters
    cast their ballots in Sunday's poll [AFP]

    Minority government likely

    Socrates kept the options open in his victory speech, saying it was "too early to talk about" coalitions or pacts.

    He said only after consultations with the president and other political parties in mid-October would "everybody know what the political solution will be".

    Antonio Costa Pinto, a political scientist, said a minority government was most probable.

    "They will most likely form a government on their own and at least in the first year there should be some stability, with the main opposition party obviously weakened by the election result," he said.

    With 99 per cent of votes counted, the Socialists were on course to hold 96 seats in the new parliament, down from 121 seats in the 230-seat parliament during Socrates' first term.

    The voter turnout was 61 per cent.

    Economy in focus

    Sunday's election was dominated by disagreements on how to deal with Portugal's economic crisis. 

    Socialists have advocated a series of big infrastructure projects, such as a high-speed train link to Spain and a new Lisbon airport to boost jobs and growth, while the opposition Social Democrats campaigned for vigorous public sector spending cuts.

    Unemployment is 9.1 per cent and rising, the highest rate since the 1980s.

    With a budget deficit set to reach 5.9 per cent of gross domestic product this year, spending cuts or tax hikes will likely be needed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.