Socrates stands down after defeat


Jose Socrates the caretaker prime minister has said that he will stand down as leader of the Socialist Party after their defeat at the polls yesterday.

Around 60% of the 9.6 million voters turned out to vote, bringing in the Social Democratic Party (PSD) of Pedro Passos Coelho.

The Social Democrats took around 38.6% of the vote, which equates to 105 seats in the 230 seat Assembly of the Republic. Previously they had 81 seats.

The Socialist Party (PS) took 28% of the vote and 73 seats, down from 97 seats in the 2009 election.

The PSD is expected to form a coalition government with the third largest party, the Democratic Social Centre – People’s Party (CDS-PP) who took 12% of the vote and around 24 seats. Together the two parties should have 129 of the 230 seats in parliament.

Pedro Passos Coelho has already said that his government will honour the terms of the EU/IMF €78 billion bailout , with the probability of raised taxes and further cuts on the way. Early comments suggested that the markets were pleased with the result because it would bring stability to the country; their worst scenario had been an inconclusive election result.

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