Portugal president wins second term, but far-right gains as COVID cases spike

Rebecca Falconer
·1 min read

Portugal's center-right President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said after being re-elected with 61% of the vote for a second term Sunday his "priority" was to "combat the pandemic," per Reuters.

Why it matters: Portugal is currently on lockdown with the highest seven-day COVID-19 average per 100,000 and some of the highest death rates in the world, according to Johns Hopkins.

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  • It reported over 85,000 new cases and nearly 1,5000 deaths from the virus Saturday — both new records.

  • Presidents in Portugal can veto some laws and declare states of emergency despite the role being largely ceremonial, and Rebelo de Sousa has used this power "often during the pandemic," Reuters notes.

Of note: Portugal was once known for having no real far-right presence in politics. But the far-right candidate André Ventura surged, winning 13% of the vote — just behind socialist candidate, Ana Gomes, achieved 13%, the New York Times reports.

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