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The outgoing president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was reelected on Sunday in a first ballot carried out in full confinement linked to Covid-19.
The outgoing president of Portugal, the moderate conservative Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was re-elected on Sunday, January 24, in the first round of a poll conducted in a confined country and hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to three projections produced for local televisions.
Former Socialist MEP Ana Gomes came in second ahead of far-right candidate André Ventura, as predicted by polls conducted before the election.
The current head of state, a 72-year-old former law professor who became famous as a political commentator on television, would have obtained 55.5 to 62% of the vote, depending on the interval of the various projections.
Ana Gomes would have collected 12.2 to 17.1% of the vote and should therefore finish ahead of André Ventura, third with 9 to 14.1% of the vote.
The founder of the anti-system party “Chega” (“that’s enough”) would thus have missed his objective of placing himself in second place, but his result still seems to confirm the progression of right-wing populism in a country which, until recently, was a figure exceptional at the international level.
Abstention rate between 50 and 60%
The official results will be communicated in the evening, as the ballots are counted.
The abstention rate would be between 50 and 60%, according to projections, against a record of 53.5% set in 2011, when the predecessor of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected.
Analysts feared a much greater abstention, which could even exceed 70%, due to the explosion of Covid-19 cases currently being experienced in Portugal, whose 10 million inhabitants have been subjected for ten days to a second general confinement.
According to data collected by AFP, it is the country in the world that has reported in the last two weeks the highest number of contagions and deaths by Covid-19 in relation to its population, exceeded only by the enclave British Gibraltar.