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In a major blow to Portugal’s political stability, the election for President of Parliament failed at its third attempt on March 10th. The newly elected “Assembleia da Republica” is facing deep political rifts, with all candidates falling short of the necessary absolute majority of 116 votes in the last round of voting.

The failure to secure a majority in the parliamentary vote on the government program could lead to another election, as MPs reconvene to try again and parties are able to nominate new candidates. The new Prime Minister, Luis Montenegro of the Democratic Alliance, faces a challenging term in office. His candidate for President of Parliament, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, came in second in the third vote, behind Francisco Assis of the Socialist Party.

Portugal’s political landscape remains uncertain as parties navigate the challenges of forming a government. Failure to form a coalition between conservatives and socialists could lead to even more complex governing. With Chega, a right-wing populist party led by André Ventura gaining over 50 seats, there are additional challenges ahead for Montenegro and his government.

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