More than 80% of the votes cast by Portuguese citizens living abroad in last month’s legislative elections have ended up being scrapped.
The reason stems from the electoral law that requires all votes cast to be accompanied by a photocopy of the voter’s identification card (Cartão de Cidadão). A number of votes appear not to have had these copies attached. But as the votes were mixed in with votes that were duly accompanied by the correct photocopy identification – and as the PSD were ‘protesting’ vociferously about the situation – the decision was made simply to scrap all votes thus ‘tainted’.
In a way this blanket decision could be seen ‘an assault on democracy’.
Certainly it has led the government to concede various clauses in the electoral law need to be reappraised.
The January 30 elections also saw numerous citizens living abroad unable even to cast their votes (click here).
The end result of this fracas has been that of the 195,701 votes cast, 157,205 ended up being scrapped. The two ‘main political parties’ of Portugal have held on to their two MPs each, but there is a strong whiff in the air that this has all been appallingly managed.
From the number of emigré votes cast it is clear that participation in these elections was markedly up on participation in the elections of 2019. The results also mirrored national results to a large extent: PS was the most voted party, followed by PSD and then by Chega (which is still treated as an outcast by every other party despite establishing itself as Portugal’s third political force).
In conclusion – and notwithstanding this ‘vote count disaster’ – the PS now has the equivalent of 119 seats in parliament; the PSD 73 (78 if including MPs elected in the archipelagos). And political parties now have 24-hours to register any complaints.