Portugal election: Exit polls suggest win for Socialists

Prime Minister Antonio Costa votes in the electionImage copyright AFP
Image caption Antonio Costa’s Socialist party is likely to fall short of an outright majority

Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa is on course to win the general election, exit polls suggest.

However his Socialist party is almost certain to fall short of an outright majority and may have to form a minority government.

Senior Socialist lawmaker Ana Catarina Mendes described it as a “great victory” for the party.

The party’s rival, the centre-right Social Democratic Party, is expected to come in second place.

Four exit polls put the Socialists in a range of 33.3-40% while the Social Democrats were on 24.2-31%.

Nearly 11 million people are registered to vote in the race for control of Portugal’s 230-seat parliament.

The Socialists’ popularity had been hit by a string of scandals, including accusations of nepotism and a suspected cover-up of weapons theft at a military base.

The Social Democrats (PSD) won the most votes in Portugal’s 2015 election, but the Socialist Party came to power after reaching formal agreements with smaller left-wing parties.

Since then the country’s economy has grown above the EU average. Cuts to public sector wages and pensions have been reversed.

Read the full article at: bbc.com

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