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In the portuguese regime, parliament and presidential elections are unrelated.
The president is a protocol figure with some powers, but is is the government that rules. The government is formed by the most voted party or coallition, by invitation of the president.

As for the recent election of the president, yes, Cavaco Silva was the only candidate to the right of the spectrum. He was the prime-minister between 84 and 94.

As for being right wing... well, he comes from the more center wing of the PSD. And he sure surprised everyone when, in his inauguration, he chose social cohesion and the fight against exclusion as the the main theme of his speech.

This cohabitation is not completely new, but in reverse, as when he was prime minister the president was the socialist Mário Soares.

These elections were original in the PS votes were divided amongst two candidates: Mário Soares, again, and Manuel Alegre. Soares was the official candidate, so to speak, but Manuel Alegre had more votes. He proved to be a much fresher voice from the left.

The Communist candidate was the charismatic leader of the party. A very down to earth man that generates a lot of empathy among people. Unlike former communist leaders he is a genuine working class hero. Went to the colonial war, worked in a factory and still lives in the same humble house.

So we had 3 candidates from the left and 1 from the right. Some say the bogged process of the PS candidate was a clever manouver from prime minister and socialist leader Socrates in order to erode the influence of the older wing of his party.

by Torres on Mon May 29th, 2006 at 01:33:58 PM EST
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