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Portugal’s PSD opposes non-confidence motion

Published on 15/02/2011

Portugal's leading opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) said Tuesday it would abstain from a non-confidence motion against the government of Prime Minister Jose Socrates, ensuring its failure.

Parliamentary leaders said Tuesday the motion, introduced at the request of the far-left Left Bloc, would be debated on March 10.

The centre-right PSD said it would abstain from the vote, following a similar announcement from the right-wing CDS-PP party on Monday.

PSD party leader Pedro Passos Coelho said the party rejected “political opportunism to overthrow the government.”

The PSD has 81 seats in parliament, while the CDS-PP has 21, ensuring the non-confidence motion will not be able to pass Portugal’s 230-seat parliament, where the ruling Socialists have 97 seats.

The Left Bloc has denounced severe state budget cuts prescribed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to tackle Portugal’s debt crisis and said the country needs a “leftist government.”