- Title: PORTUGAL: Anibal Cavaco Silva re-elected as President on a record low turnout
- Date: 25th January 2011
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) LISBON RESIDENT, CONCEICAO COSTA, SAYING: "I don't think so, it will all stay the same as they were or even worse."
- Embargoed: 9th February 2011 12:00
- Location: Portugal, Portugal
- Country: Portugal
- Topics: Domestic Politics,Population
- Reuters ID: LVABNDQXWQF0Z9NE6LJI5PE5L5Z2
- Story Text: Portuguese newspapers concentrate on a record low turnout in the country's presidential election which saw Anibal Cavaco Silva returned to power.
Portuguese media on Monday (January 24) headlined President Anibal Cavaco Silva's second term victory (January 23) in a presidential election that was marked by a record low turnout.
Cavaco Silva won a second term on Sunday, promising to work for political stability as the government fights to avoid an international financial bailout.
He won around 55 percent of the vote, compared with about 19 percent for Manuel Alegre of the ruling Socialists, his closest competitor, in a victory widely seen as bolstering efforts to overcome the euro zone debt crisis.
"Cavaco re-elected with record abstention," Publico newspaper's headlines read. "Cavaco a calm re-election in a protest vote," said Diario de Noticias.
Silva, of the centre-right Social Democrats, has been a key ally of the minority government of Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates' drive to cut the budget deficit through tough austerity measures.
Portugal's economic plight was a big issue in the campaign but election fever was was low in this country of 10.5 million people on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Many Portuguese are disillusioned because of pay cuts, higher taxes and rising unemployment, and turn-out was only about 50 percent. The interest rate the country pays on its bonds have fallen in the past two weeks as the country had two successful debt auctions in January.
Lisbon resident Carlos Costa said the re-election would leave things unchanged, "I think it will stay the same, it will not be get better or worse. Just more of the same."
Some, however, fear things may even become tougher.
"I don't think so, it will all stay the same as they were or even worse." said Conceicao Costa.
Silva, a former economics professor who was prime minister from 1985 to 1995, cast his vote in a chilly Lisbon. The president's post is largely ceremonial but he does have the power to dismiss the prime minister and dissolve parliament.
Should Portugal have to follow euro zone weaklings Greece and Ireland and go the European Union and International Monetary Fund for a rescue package, Cavaco could be under pressure from his own party, which is in opposition to the Socialists, to do so.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None