Portugal’s Socialists say in position to form coalition govt
Portugal's opposition Socialists said Tuesday they were in a position to form a coalition government with the Communists and another leftist party.
“After the contacts we had with the Communist Party and the Left Bloc, we can say that we are in a position to form a government with a parliamentary majority,” Socialist leader Antonio Costa said after meeting President Anibal Cavaco Silva.
Since the October 4 election, Portugal’s parties have been locked in talks to form a coalition government.
Although the outgoing rightwing coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho won the election, it lost the absolute parliamentary majority it had enjoyed since 2011.
Following the vote, the president tasked Passos Coelho with seeking the support of the Socialist opposition in order to form a “stable and lasting” government.
But his efforts failed.
As the Socialists were talking with Coelho, they were also speaking with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc, linked to Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party, with the aim of forming an “alternative government”.
A former mayor of Lisbon, Costa has pledged to put an end to four years of painful austerity put in place by Passos Coelho’s coalition.