Portugal's Socialist Party wins parliamentary elections
The Socialist Party (PS) led by Prime Minister Jose Socrates won Portugal`s parliamentary elections, official results showed Sunday, according to Xinhua.
The center-left Socialists won 36.56 percent of the votes, while the main opposition, the Social Democratic Party, got 29.09 percent after 99.6 percent of the ballots were counted, said the Interior Ministry.
Socrates, in a speech to supporters, said his party has won a "huge victory."
"The Portuguese people made a clear and unambiguous choice (that) the Portuguese people want the PS to continue to govern Portugal," he said.
His party, however, has lost the absolute majority in the 230-seat unicameral parliament. The PS won 45 percent of the votes in the 2005 elections, giving it a comfortable absolute majority with 121 seats.
With four seats undetermined by midnight Sunday, the Socialists won 96 seats. The four seats are to be determined by overseas constituencies.
The center-right Social Democratic Party won 78 seats, three seats less than it has in the outgoing parliament.
The biggest winner of the elections this time was the conservative Popular Party, which became the third largest political force in the parliament. It won 10.5 percent of the votes with 21 seats, while it has only 12 seats in the outgoing parliament.
The far-left Left Bloc also doubled its seats to 16. The Communists/Greens coalition, which ranked the third in 2005 elections, became the smallest party in the parliament with only 15 seats. The supportive rate for the coalition, however, remained stable as it netted 7.88 percent of the votes in Sunday`s elections, almost unchanged from 2005`s 7.6 percent.
It is believed that some Socialists` supporters turned to the Popular Party and the Left Bloc as they were not satisfied with Socrates` efforts to control the public spending, including raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 for civil servants.
Socrates said Sunday that it was still too early to say how the new government would be formed.
Leader of the Social Democratic Party, Manuela Ferreira Leite, while conceding defeat, underscored the fact that the Socialists have been deprived of the absolute majority in the new parliament and vowed that his party will fight on as "a responsible opposition."