Antonio Costa's Socialists Win Portuguese Election

REUTERS  Jon Nazca

This meant they were first but, with only four seats still not accounted for, they can not reach the full majority of 116 seats in the 230-seat assembly.

With 99 percent of the parishes counted and only four seats to be confirmed, the PS garnered 36.7 percent of the votes, or 106 seats in the parliament.

After coming to power in 2015, Costa undid some of the unpopular austerity measures introduced during Europe's financial crisis, when Portugal needed an global bailout.

Leaders of the two far-left parties both said they had no objections to Costa being nominated as premier and were ready to negotiate if he committed to improving the lives of workers and boosting public investment, especially in healthcare.

The People-Animals-Nature party (PAN) attracted more votes than in the previous election, riding a wave of popularity among pro-environment parties in much of Europe.

Four years later, however, the hard-left is pushing for increases in public spending and has accused Costa of veering to the right.

When an elderly voter challenged him during a final campaign appearance in Lisbon over the government's handling of wildfires in central Portugal in June 2017 that killed more than 60 people, Costa lost his temper in images that quickly went viral.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Souza is at possibility of expect assurances from the parties that the resolution may per chance well be an enduring one.

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It gives the radical Left Bloc 9-12 percent, the Portuguese Communist Party 5-7 percent and the Christian Democrats 2.4-5 percent.

(AP Photo/Armando Franca). A Socialist Party supporter has her picture taken by the statue of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa while waiting for the arrival of Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa for an election campaign action in do. "We are going to have the selection to resolve our spot counting on the PS' alternatives, on its finances devices and the tell material of its legislative proposals".

But after a series of scandals, from a nepotism row to the alleged involvement of a former minister in an army cover-up of the theft of weapons from a military base, other voters said it was time for a change.

Exit polls are expected an hour later and official results will trickle in through the evening.

Portugal's Socialist government has ruled four years with support from smaller leftist parties.

"We take the result with democratic humility", said Cristas, in a short statement to journalists at the party's national headquarters in Lisbon, as election results emerged.

António Costa has won praise both at home and in Brussels for combining fiscal discipline with successful measures to stimulate the economy, which is now growing faster than the European Union average, helped by rising exports and a booming tourism industry that saw more tourists visit Portugal a year ago than it has inhabitants. But those seats are no longer ample for the Socialists to govern with them on my own.

A new far-right formation, Chega! or "That's Enough!" entered parliament for the first time but it won a single seat.

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