Votes today for new President
Portugal voters will, today (23rd January 2011), elect a new President for a five year term in office. The front runner is Cavaco Silva (74) a member of the main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD).
Opinion polls have shown Cavaco Silva on around 63% of the vote in comparison with his main opponent Manuel Alegre (74) who is standing for the governing Socialist party (PS) and Left bloc (BE) and has about 20%.
Cavaco Silva is seen as being a safe pair of hands at a time when Portugal is going through severe economic difficulties. He is a former economics professor and during his term of office as Prime Minister (1985 – 1995) the Portuguese economy performed well. He has supported the government’s austerity measures but is seen to be a stabilising influence with strong economic expertise at a time when ordinary people are suffering.