Elections hit Portugal in 2009

Portugal could reach the end of 2009 with a radical change in its political structure as politicians will be battling in a number of elections.

The first of these will be the EU elections, scheduled to take place on June 13. These will be followed by legislative elections which are due to be scheduled by the President, Cavaco Silva, between September and October. Câmara elections will then be scheduled by the government, to be held between October and the end of the year.

According to the parliament’s budget, the total cost of these three elections to the Portuguese government is 70.5 million euros.

Of the three, the most expensive will be the Câmara elections, which will cost more than 57 million euros, followed by the legislative elections at 8.5 million euros.

The subsidies to finance political party election campaigns were approved in 2003. This year, the seven political parties that are represented in parliament will receive each year 17.2 million euros, the annual subsidy for each party depending on the number of votes obtained during the legislative elections.

Around half of the funds are used by parties to pay for television and radio advertising, while leaflets and other promotional materials as well as the cost of ballot papers contributes significantly to the total expenditure.

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