The new right-wing government invested without the support of the far right

Far from an absolute majority of at least 116 deputies, new Prime Minister Luis Montenegro has decided to form a minority government.


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New Prime Minister Luis Montenegro during the inauguration of his government on April 2, 2024 in Lisbon (Portugal).  (Patricia de Mello Moreira / AFP)

How long will it last? A new center-right government was inaugurated in Portugal on Tuesday, April 2, but its room for maneuver will be as limited as its parliamentary majority, which is caught between the outgoing Socialists and the fast-growing far right. Luis Montenegro, who narrowly won legislative elections on March 10, and 17 of his ministers were sworn in earlier in the evening under the watchful eye of the president of the republic, conservative Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

Far from an absolute majority of at least 116 deputies, he decided to form a minority government to keep his promise not to seek support from the anti-system Chega (Enough) party, which cemented its position as a third political force. Going from 12 to 50 deputies in the country. “This government has come to manage four-and-a-half years of the legislature.”assured the new prime minister, appealing to the sense of responsibility of the entire opposition and the Socialist Party in particular.

The government’s roadmap should still be valid

The new executive’s entry into office marks the end of eight years of Socialist governments led by Antonio Costa, who resigned in early November and gave up running for a second term after being cited in an influence-peddling investigation. The next bump in the road for the new prime minister will be the presentation of his program of government, a document that will be submitted and debated in parliament next week. Its rejection would imply the collapse of the executive, but this scenario has already been ruled out by the new boss of the Socialists, Pedro Nuno Santos.

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