Tuesday. 21.05.2024

Portugal's ruling Socialists emerged as the winners in the nation's local elections on Sunday, gaining 34.34 per cent of the vote, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The result was a 3.5-percentage-point fall compared to elections held in 2017. However, it was the third consecutive time that the Socialists have won in local elections.

The party lost the capital, however. The Socialists had governed Lisbon for 14 years, but unexpectedly, voters opted for Social Democrat and former European Commissioner Carlos Moedas instead.

The Socialist incumbent Fernando Medina conceded defeat.

On Monday, Portugal's Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa said he could not deny a feeling of frustration.

In Porto, Portugal's second largest city, Rui Moreira, an independent, was re-elected.

Some 9.3 million eligible voters were called upon to elect new city and municipal parliaments nationwide on Sunday.

Freedom of movement

Costa and other politicians called on people to make use of their right to vote, given the freedom of movement they have regained following lockdowns and restrictions related to the pandemic.

Voter turnout was at 53.69 per cent, only slightly below levels in 2017, according to the electoral commission.

Portugal has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with almost 85 per cent of the population fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Most coronavirus restrictions will be lifted next Friday.

Portugal's Socialists win local elections but lose Lisbon