Portuguese elections
Image: André Kosters/ Lusa

Azores returns coalition of José Manuel Bolieiro

But no absolute majority

Something of a ‘cliff-hanger’ elections in the Azores has seen to it that the party of regional PSD leader José Manuel Bolieiro won, in coalition with the CDS/ PPM

As Bolieiro said in his ‘victory’ speech: “The people of the Azores have said again what they said in 2020: they do not want a Socialist government!” 

That said, the new executive is not in any kind of absolute majority, having 26 MPs, compared to the PS’s 23, CHEGA’s 5, and Bloco de Esquerda’s/ Iniciativa Liberal and PAN’s one MP each – and the archipelago’s Socialists are taking the results poorly, stressing they may not ‘viabilise’ a minority government…

Confusing the picture even more, prime minister António Costa has ‘congratulated’ Bolieiro on the coalition’s result, “guaranteeing” that the new executive of the Azores will be able to count on the institutional collaboration of the government of the Republic.

These elections were forced by the failure of Bolieiro’s previous government’s budget. 

Voting saw more Azoreans than usual take part in the elections, but even so, abstention was close to 50%.

The ‘greatest gains’, explain reports, were made by CHEGA, which increased its number of MPs from two to five and clinched more than double the number of votes managed by the party in the elections of 2020.

According to CHEGA leader André Ventura, the party’s plan now is to work towards an agreement with the new government, that will strengthen the coalition’s position. This could take “days”, he admits.

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