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article imagePortugal's govt survives censure vote

By AFP     Feb 20, 2019 in World

Portugal's socialist government easily survived a censure vote Wednesday called by a right-wing opposition party, standing it in good stead for European and legislative polls later this year.

Letfist allies backed the government to see off the no confidence motion brought by the People's Party (CDS-PP) which has just 18 lawmakers in the 230-seat parliament and which saw a similar scheme fail in 2017.

"There is only one point to this motion -- to confirm that the right are in a minority in this assembly," said Prime Minister Antonio Costa ahead of the vote.

Polls put Costa's ruling Socialist Party well ahead of its rivals ahead of the May 26 European elections and October 6 legislatives with between 36 and 40 percent of voting intentions.

The opposition centre-right PSD is credited with 24 percent to just 7 to 8 percent for the CDS-PP, the PSD's junior partner in a ruling coalition administration between 2011 and 2015.

Despite its lead the Socialists are unlikely to win an absolute majority of seats and hence will have to retain the support of other leftist groups.

Costa's party came in behind the outgoing coalition in 2015 legislative elections but he took office at the head of an alliance with the Left Bloc, the Communists and ecologists.

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