Portugal's leftists okay deal with Socialists in bid to topple government

6th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Portugal's leftist political bloc said Friday it had agreed a deal with the Socialists in a move aimed at trying to bring down the new centre-right minority government.

The pact between the Left Bloc, allied to Greece's governing anti-austerity Syriza party, and the Socialist Party (PS) is not enough to topple the government outright.

The two would also need the Communists on board, bringing the left-wing coalition's number of seats up to 122 lawmakers out of 230.

Although the centre-right coalition headed by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho won the October 4 elections, it lost the absolute majority it had enjoyed since 2011.

The new administration will present its programme to parliament on November 9.

But the PS and its other left-wing allies have vowed to pass a motion against the blueprint in a vote which would take place a day later.

If they succeed, it would automatically bring down the government.

"The Left Bloc's political commission validated the document from negotiations with the Socialist Party," the bloc's spokeswoman Catarina Martins, wrote on Twitter, without giving details.

"Negotiations with the Socialist Party have ended and the conditions met for a leftist agreement aiming to protect jobs, salaries and pensions," a statement said on the Left Bloc's website.

The opposition Socialist Party, which came second in the election, is seeking to oust the government in tandem with other left-wing parties to halt the centre-right's austerity drive.

The PS has called a meeting for late Sunday to assess the negotiations, ahead of the parliamentary debate on the government's programme the following day.

The Left Bloc, established in 1999, made a surprise breakthrough in the elections, winning just over 10 percent of votes and making it the country's third biggest political grouping.


© 2015 AFP

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