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Portuguese president names center-right leader as new premier

Anadolu Agency EUROPE
Published March 21,2024
President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), and leader of the Democratic Alliance (AD), Luis Montenegro (EPA Photo)

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa appointed Luis Montenegro, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (AD), as prime minister on Wednesday following early general elections on March 10.

Montenegro, aged 51, led the AD to become the top party in the 230-seat National Assembly by winning 80 seats.

The president's office said in a statement that after holding meetings with the leaders of political parties that took part in the March 10 elections, President De Sousa appointed Montenegro as the prime minister of the 24th government.

The Socialist Party (PS), which has been in power for the past nine years and had 120 seats in the 2022 elections, suffered significant losses in the early elections following the resignation of former leader and prime minister Antonio Costa over corruption allegations within his inner circle.

The new leader, Pedro Nuno Santos, announced that they would lead the opposition and allow the AD to form a minority government.

Portuguese media speculated that for the minority government to have a future, led by the AD's leader and new prime minister Montenegro, it would require the support of the right-wing Chega party.

During the election campaign, Montenegro had said that forming a coalition with the far right was not an option.

In the new legislative term, AD is expected to need Chega's support for the 2025 budget and the passage of certain laws, considering the significance of a party with 50 seats.

Chega's leader, Andre Ventura, has continued to pressure the AD to be part of the government.