Miguel Albuquerque promises to form a “government with stability”
The centre-right PSD/CDS-PP coalition won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Madeira without an absolute majority, but social democrat Miguel Albuquerque promised to form a “government with stability”. The election also saw the regional parliament grow from five to nine parties.
In the previous regional elections in 2019, PSD won 21 seats, losing the absolute majority they had held since 1976 for the first time, and formed a coalition government with CDS-PP (three seats). PS won 19 seats, JPP (Juntos Pelo Povo) three and CDU one (held by the Communist Party).
On Sunday, however, PSD and CDS-PP – who this time ran in coalition – won seats for 23 MPs, missing out on an absolute majority by one MP in a 47-seat parliament.
PS (with a candidacy headed by Sérgio Gonçalves) fell to 11 seats, JPP (Élvio Sousa) rose to five, recovering the bench with which it had debuted in 2015, and CDU kept its elected representative (Edgar Silva, from the Communist Party).
Chega, led in the archipelago by Miguel Castro, became the fourth political force, with four seats in its debut in the chamber.
IL (also a first-timer in the assembly), BE, and PAN (both represented in the past) each won a seat – Nuno Morna, Roberto Almada and Mónica Freitas, respectively.
During the campaign, the leader of PSD/Madeira and the regional government, Miguel Albuquerque, said that he would refuse to govern without an absolute majority, but in his victory speech, he guaranteed that he would be able to form a stable government in the next few days, without saying which parties he would negotiate with.
And if the doors are closed, on both sides, to an understanding between the coalition and far-right Chega, Iniciativa Liberal (IL) has said that it is “open to dialogue” with the Social Democrats. The same openness to dialogue has been admitted by People-Animals-Nature (PAN).
In fact, all it takes is Liberal MP Nuno Morna or PAN MP Mónica Freitas to form an absolute majority in parliament.
Even before Miguel Albuquerque’s speech, some political forces called for his resignation. Among those voices was that of Sérgio Gonçalves, who recognised the PS’s poor result but did not resign.
In the regional legislative elections, the representative of the Republic, a position held by Ireneu Barreto, invites a political force to form a government depending on the results after the parties with a parliamentary seat in the current legislature have been consulted.
Ireneu Barreto told Lusa that he intends to listen to the parties on Wednesday and Thursday before inviting the PSD/Madeira leader to form a government.
The representative of the Republic downplayed the abstention rate of 46.66%, pointing out that “there are too many voters on the electoral roll”, so the real abstention will be “perfectly reasonable”.
In 2019, the abstention rate was 44.5%, and in 2015, it was 50.42%, breaking the record set in that year since 1976 when the first elections to the Legislative Assembly of Madeira were held.
More than 253,000 voters were called to vote in this year’s regional legislative elections, with 13 candidates in the running.
The PTP, Livre, R.I.R, MPT and ADN lists failed to elect any MPs.