Portugal is holding elections for a new government and parliament. Here is information about the main concerns.


On Sunday, 10.8 million registered voters in Portugal will choose 230 members of the National Assembly, the nation’s legislature, in an early general election. A new administration will subsequently be selected by the legislators.

The center-left Socialist Party and the center-right Social Democratic Party, two moderate parties that have been in power for decades, are predicted to receive the majority of votes once more.However, dissatisfaction with the major parties is fueling the rise of an extreme right populist party, which may accelerate Europe’s political rightward shift.

The following concerns have been central to the campaign:


A socialist administration fell in November as a result of an inquiry into corruption, which is why an election is being held. Antonio Costa, the prime minister, had his chief of staff arrested and his official residence searched by police as part of the scandal. Costa is not facing any criminal charges.Recently, a Lisbon court determined that a former socialist prime minister who ruled from 2005 to 2011 ought to go on trial for allegedly receiving over 34 million euros ($36.7 million) in cash while in government.

Allegations of corruption have also embarrassed the Social Democratic Party.

Two high-ranking Social Democrats in Portugal resigned in response to a recent bribery investigation in the Madeira Islands. The controversy broke on the same day that the Social Democratic Party in Lisbon displayed a billboard with the slogan, “It can’t go on like this,” criticizing corruption.

Chega, or “Enough,” is a five-year-old radical right populist party that has made fighting corruption one of its political platform and stands to gain from the scandals.A CRISIS IN HOUSING

According to data from the European Union, between 2010 and the second quarter of last year, house prices in Portugal increased by around 80% and rentals by about 30%. These gains far outpaced increases in pay.

Recent years have seen a significant increase in prices, mostly due to an influx of foreign investors and travelers looking for short-term rentals. Large cities like Lisbon, the nation’s capital, have felt the impact of the change the most, since many residents have been priced out of the property market.

The spike in inflation and mortgage rates from the previous year exacerbated the issue.LOW RATE

The Portuguese have always earned some of the lowest wages in Western Europe. That bothers me, and police officers are the ones who started the most recent pay-related public protests.

The average monthly salary before taxes in Lisbon was just about 1,500 euros ($1,630) last year, which was insufficient to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

More than 800,000 people make the 820 euros ($893) monthly minimum wage. That’s the take-home wage, or 676 euros ($736). The monthly income of nearly 3 million Portuguese workers is less than 1,000 euros ($1,090).

Incomes have remained low due to weak productivity and economic development. The average yearly rise in GDP per capita throughout the first 22 years of this century was about 1%. It seems like the economy is stuck in low gear.

Since 2011, Portugal’s GDP per capita has fallen below 80% of the EU average, and it has never exceeded 83% before to then.


Pedro Nuno Santos, a socialist leader, is a congressman and a former minister of infrastructure and housing.

Under pressure from his management of the financially troubled flag carrier TAP Air Portugal and an unresolved dispute over the location of a new airport in Lisbon, Santos, 46, resigned from the previous administration.

He is descended from a prosperous Portuguese business family in the north. Once, when he was considerably younger.The 51-year-old leader of the Social Democratic Party, Luis Montenegro, is a lawyer who entered Parliament at the age of 29 and served as a legislator for 16 years.

Leading the coalition of primarily tiny right-of-center parties formed just for the election is him: the Democratic Alliance. He has never held a position in the Portuguese administration.

When allegations surfaced in 2017 that Montenegro was given free tickets to soccer matches by a media business, police looked into them but then closed the case.Andre Ventura, 41, the head of the Chega, doesn’t seem to have much chance of becoming prime minister, but if his party’s support surges after the election, he might wind up being important.

Ventura’s career has been somewhat colorful. Once a practicing attorney and tax law expert at a university, he is now a raucous TV soccer pundit, a low-brow book author, and a bombastic orator while running for office.

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