Portugal faces new elections after the parliamentary rejection of the left-wing government’s budget bill. Yesterday evening, the State Council approved the dissolution of Parliament by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. All he has to do now is sign the dissolution decree. Observers expect that the new elections will be scheduled for January or February.
The Council of State has been a body in existence since 1845 that advises the president. It includes current and former elected officials, as well as other personalities from various political orientations. Last weekend, Rebelo had already spoken to representatives of trade unions and employer associations as well as heads of all parties represented in Parliament about future actions.
No budget majority
Leftist Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s spending plan for 2022 failed in Parliament on Wednesday last week. Only 108 deputies from the Socialist Party Costas voted for him. There were 117 votes against.
The Socialist Party, which has been in power since 2015 and is moving towards social democracy, has so far had the support of the left-wing parties. The Marxist Left Bloc (BE), the Communists (PCP) and the Greens (PEV) refrained from doing so this time. Given the billions in coronavirus aid from the European Union, they have called for more social spending, among other things. But Costa did not want to abandon the restrictive spending policy.
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