Bloco de Esquerda on a high

By Bob Hughes

LAST SUNDAY evening (February 20), the Francisco Louçã-led Bloco de Esquerda (BE) may not have been the eventual winners of the Portuguese election, but, at their headquarters, they were jubilant, singing and chanting like any winner. The party had managed to almost triple the percentage of votes that it had obtained in 2002. The cheers, when the results came in, were just as loud as at the Socialists’ headquarters. The Resident spoke to Francisco Louçã who was proud of their achievement. He commented that he was delighted that a large number of the population had used their powers to vote in this election. Louçã thought President Sampaio was “right” in giving the people the democratic right to vote in or replace the existing government. “The Portuguese had clearly lost confidence in the leadership of Santana Lopes and Paulo Portas and this was reflected in the votes,” he said. When questioned about the new government, he said he was not so sure what their policies would be as they were not made clear in the lead up to the election. Will we see Bloco de Esquerda as the third party?