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President To Address Nation Amid Fallout w/PM-SIC TV


Portugal's SIC TV reporting that President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is set to deliver an address to the nation amid a major and public rift with Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The disagreement between Rebelo de Sousa, from the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Costa from the centre-left Socialist Party (PS) centres on the resignation of Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba. Costa has stated that he is sticking by his minister and will not accept his resignation, while Rebelo de Sousa wants the minister removed from office.

  • While executive power lies with the PM in Portugal's political system, the president has the power to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections. In a statement the president stated that he "disagrees with the (PM's) position regarding (his) political reading of the facts".
  • Gambala has been in office just four months and offered his resignation over the same issue as his predecessor, a long-running scandal at state-owned airline TAP.
  • Opinion polling shows support for Costa's PS having shrunk significantly since the Jan 2022 general election, to the point where it is now level with the PSD on around 28-30% support (see chart below).
  • A snap general election would likely see the PS lose its current majority. Instead the gov't would either shift to the left, forced into coalition with the socialist Left Bloc and Unitary Democratic Coalition, or be ousted with the PSD governing alongside the economic liberal Liberal Initiative or right-wing nationalist Chega (Enough).
Chert 1. General Election Opinion Polling, % and 5-Poll Moving Average

Source: Aximage, Intercampus, ICS, CESOP, Pitagorica, MNI

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