LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s president was returned to office for a next term Sunday, in an election held amid a devastating COVID-19 surge that has manufactured the European nation the worst in the environment for scenarios and deaths.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa captured 61.5% of the vote, with 98.5% of districts reporting. He had been widely predicted to acquire.
In a stunning improvement, newly arrived correct-wing populist André Ventura was in a near race for second location with Socialist applicant Ana Gomes, with both equally polling about 12%.
These a showing for Ventura would have been unthinkable right up until a short while ago and will deliver a shudder as a result of Portuguese politics.
Four other candidates ran for head of condition.
Rebelo de Sousa, a center-appropriate reasonable and former leader of Portugal’s Social Democratic Get together, will provide a next and remaining 5-12 months phrase.
1 of the re-elected president’s 1st tasks will be to come to a decision subsequent month irrespective of whether to approve a new regulation enabling euthanasia. Parliament has handed the bill, but the head of condition could try out to block it or deliver it to the Constitutional Court for vetting.
The turnout was considerably less than 40% — considerably decreased than in modern elections and apparently confirming issues that some folks would stay absent for anxiety of getting contaminated with COVID-19. Political leaders stated that when the pandemic commenced to worsen there was no longer ample time to change the Portuguese Constitution to allow the election’s postponement.
Portugal has the world’s highest premiums of new day by day infections and fatalities for every 100,000 inhabitants, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, and its community wellness method is less than big pressure.
Rebelo de Sousa, 72, was long seen as the distinct entrance-runner. He is an affable law professor and former television character who as president has constantly had an approval ranking of 60% or additional.
Rebelo de Sousa has labored intently with the middle-still left minority Socialist govt, supporting its pandemic initiatives.
He also has endeared himself to the Portuguese with his easygoing type. Photographs taken by passers-by of him in community locations, this kind of as a person last yr of him standing in line at a grocery store putting on sneakers and shorts, routinely go viral.
With the state in lockdown, the election campaign showcased none of the normal flag-waving rallies but limitations on movement had been lifted for polling day.
Authorities amplified the variety of polling stations and allowed for early voting to decrease crowding on election working day. In other precautions, voters have been requested to convey their individual pens and disinfectant to polling stations. All people voting wore a mask and held a secure length from every single other.
Key Minister António Costa, in a tweet, urged folks to turn out for the ballot, expressing that “unprecedented planning” experienced absent into ensuring that the vote could choose area safely and securely.
Portugal has 10.8 million registered voters, around 1.5 million of them dwelling abroad.
Just about every Portuguese president since 1976, when universal suffrage was introduced following the departure of a dictatorship, has been returned for a second term. No girl or member of an ethnic minority has ever held the publish.
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