Isabel Macieira talking to sculptors Jaap Joldermsa and Chris Weatherly at a workshop at Quintinha da Música.jpg

Jardim wins elections

Madeira’s ‘king’ in all but name, Alberto João Jardim, won his 10th election victory on Sunday evening.

However, the PSD governor, who has been surrounded by heavy criticisms in recent weeks over the autonomous region’s out-of-control spending and pharaonic building projects, got his smallest absolute majority since he first came to power in 1976.

In the elections, the conservative CDS-PP overtook the PS socialists to become the second political force in the region in a clear swing to the right.

However, despite his victory and the usual bombastic rhetoric, the Madeira leader failed to come up with a plausible reason as to why his majority had been eroded from 64% of the vote in 2007 to 48% on Sunday.

It was the first time that the PSD garnered less than 50% of the electorate since he first came to power.

All told, the PSD won 48.5%, with 25 out of 47 MPs in the new parliament, having lost 15.6% of the vote on 2007 and eight MPs.

In his election victory speech, which lacked the euphoria of previous elections, Jardim said he had achieved his goal in that he didn’t have to horse trade with the CDS-PP party which has been immensely critical of his big ticket spending projects. C.G.