A busy 12 months of elections has kicked off in Portugal with regional polls in the Azores, that have been won by the Socialist party.
Retaining power, Carlos Cesar saw his share of the vote trimmed by seven percent. He insisted it is also a victory for the autonomous region, one of two in Portugal.
“This is a double victory for the Socialist party. It won by proposing and getting the approval of an electoral law that effectively reinforces democracy and democratic parliamentary representation in Azores,” he said.
Some 200 000 islanders live far from the mainland, and in July saw new laws that would have given them greater political freedom vetoed by the Portuguese president.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates will be happy his governing party has passed its first electoral test in a period that ends with next year’s general election.
The president, a conservative Social Democrat, vetoed the enhanced autonomy legislation as he believed it was unconstitutionally depriving him of the right to suspend regional assemblies.