The prime minister of Portugal and socialist candidate, António Costa, called on his citizens this Sunday to participate in the country’s early legislative elections, held a week before the date, after exercising their right to vote in Porto.
President Portuguese calls early elections for January 2022
Despite being called for the upcoming January 30, the premier opted for early voting, an alternative that aims to curb abstention and facilitate participation in safe conditions in the face of the incidence of Covid-19.
According to health authorities, the country already exceeds 58,000 daily cases in the midst of the fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister urged both the voters of the early voting system and those who will exercise the vote next Sunday, to participate because the elections “are a unique moment in which citizens decide.”
Likewise, he said that “all the conditions are created so that everyone can vote safely” including citizens who will be confined on election day and, therefore, will be able to go out and vote between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. local time (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. GMT).
Hundreds of schools opened this Sunday for the day of early voting throughout the country. Nearly 300,000 people are registered to vote, a figure that exceeds the 50,000 who used this alternative in the past legislative elections, although they did not meet the expectations of the electoral authorities.
In the opinion of the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, who is independent and attended the vote this day, he sees “few people registered” this Sunday.
The polls gave the victory to the Socialist Party, despite the fact that the conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) would be four points below, shortening the distances and the extreme right consolidates its rise.
If he wins, Costa will have to govern without a clear parliamentary majority, although other polls indicate that the difference has narrowed and some reflect a statistical tie. The premier announced that if he is the most voted, but without obtaining a majority, he would govern without forming a coalition.
About 10.8 million people are called to the elections that had to be brought forward halfway through the legislative mandate due to the rejection of the 2022 budget prepared by the current Prime Minister.