Centre-right candidate Anibal Cavaco Silva has won Portugal’s presidential election, winning in the first round and avoiding a runoff. It is the first time since Portuguese democracy was established in 1974 that a rightist candidate has been elected head of state. It is a blow for the ruling socialists, who scored their largest ever general election win less than a year ago.
Cavaco Silva told supporters last night: “I want my victory to be that of Portugal. Throughout my campaign I’ve said that what mattered to me was the well-being of the Portuguese people. I hope I’m worthy of the trust they’ve placed in me.” The 66-year-old has pledged to improve the stagnant economy and cut unemployment, which is at an 18-year high.