Portugal holds snap general election amid Covid outbreak

Lisbon, Jan 30 (EFE).- Portuguese voters headed to the polls Sunday to elect a new parliament in an election being held amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

More than 10.8 million people are called upon to elect the 230 members in the country’s parliament.

No party is expected to win an outright parliamentary majority but observers predict a tight election between the Socialist Party (PS) of prime minister Antonio Costa and the conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) under Rui Rio.

Although the southern European country has held several elections during the pandemic, these are the first general elections to take place in the middle of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Some 1.2 million people of the country’s population of 10.2 million are in isolation, but eligible voters are authorized to break the rules and head to the polls to cast their ballots before polling stations shut their doors.

In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the turnout reached 49%, while in last year’s presidential elections when Portugal was under a lockdown, it fell to 40%.

In 2019, the Socialists got 36.3% of the vote, compared to PSD’s 27.8%.

Initial results are expected later on Sunday.EFE


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