Left-wing party in dire straits as founding group and former leader storm out

It’s been a bad week for Portugal’s left-wing Bloco de Esquerda (BE) which saw leading figures abandon the political party.
In an official statement last Saturday, Fórum Manifesto, one of the party’s founding groups, announced that it was leaving the BE because it had grown tired of its “reluctance to enter talks and alliances with other political forces”.
Sharing the same opinion, the BE’s former leader, Ana Drago, also abandoned the party, saying that “the country needs urgent solutions and they cannot be found in Bloco de Esquerda”.
Fórum Manifesto says the BE is “incapable of responding with realism, credibility and determination to the country’s challenges and problems”.
Fórum Manifesto now intends to start talks with other left-wing parties and groups in order to reach “compromises and agreements to help the country respond to its challenges”.
For BE, however, the future seems uncertain, with plunging results in recent elections – 9.8% of overall votes in national elections in 2009 and just 5.4% in 2011, while in 2009’s European elections it received 10.7% of the votes and just 4.5% this year.
The party was founded in 1999 and has become one of Portugal’s five main political parties, defending ideologies of socialism, anti-capitalism and left-libertarianism.