A scooter drives past an election campaign poster of the ruling center-right coalition “Portugal Forward” in Lisbon Thursday, October 1 2015.
Portuguese voters elect a new government in elections Sunday.
“All elections are important, but this electoral act is of particular importance for the future of Portugal”, President Anibal Cavaco Silva said on Saturday night, urging the Portuguese to vote despite an unfavourable weather forecast.
Portugal is one of the eurozone’s smaller economies, representing less than 2 percent of the 19-nation bloc’s gross domestic product.
The economy is now recovering.
The jobless rate has fallen to 12 percent from a peak of 17.5 percent at the beginning of 2013.
Analysts warn Portugal risks a period of political instability just as it seeks to safeguard an economic recovery after emerging from a debt crisis.
At the heart of the campaign is one word: austerity. Despite that, he will vote Sunday to re-elect the country’s center-right coalition government which imposed the tough measures.
Should Mr Passos Coelho fail to gain an outright win, he will be reliant on the Socialist opposition to pass the spending cuts, privatisation measures, and tax hikes demanded by creditors.
Costa says he wants to “end austerity without leaving the euro”.
Another poll, by Marktest put the coalition on 41 percent of voting intentions, well ahead of the Socialists on 28.6 percent. Traditionally, the two mainstream – and moderate – parties have alternated in power. Both say they will abide by the eurozone’s financial discipline.
The main worry is that the result could bring in a minority government that has no guarantee of passing its policies.
This would give it 108 seats – falling short of the 116 absolute majority.
The Guardian as the Portugal News Online, reported that the Portuguese Communist party is expected to increase its support.
In all, 23 parties are fielding candidates, but it is likely that only five parties will get enough votes for seats in Parliament.
Polling at 34 percent, Costa is encouraging the 15 percent now undecided to vote.
Passos Coelho’s campaign centered on reminding the Portuguese that he pulled the country out of the depths of the 2010 debt crisis and returned it to functioning growth.
He accused Passos Coelho of going even further than bailout requirements and applying his own brand of “excessive austerity”.
His centre-left Socialist opponent Antonio Costa also appealed for more support. Slogan on leaflet reads “There is another way”.