The new Portuguese parliament has held its first session, and its first act was to re-elect the Socialist Jaime Gama as speaker.The Socialists are the largest party, but the two largest right-wing opposition parties have ruled out joining a coalition government. They have however promised to safeguard political stability and act as a “responsible” opposition, allowing the Socialists to rule as a minority administration. The Socialists will thus have to rely on temporary or permanent alliances to pass laws. Prime Minister Jose Socrates has been asked to form a government by the president, and he is also holding talks with the smaller far-left and Green parties. The government’s first test will be to get approval for its programme, which should be submitted to parliament before the end of the month.