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Portugal's president set for re-election

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Portugal's president set for re-election


Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva looks set to be re-elected on Sunday, providing a boost to government plans to fix the economy.

Polls suggest the Social Democrat Party’s Anibal Cavaco Silva could win up to 60 percent of the vote.

The centre-right incumbent’s closest rival is Socialist candidate Manuel Alegre, who is predicted to pick up between 15 and 30 percent.

Silva played a key role in convincing Social Democrat deputies to support Prime Minister Jose Socrates’ tough austerity measures.

Cuts to pensions and wages are among the steps being taken with the aim of reducing Portugal’s public deficit to 4.6 percent of GDP by the end of this year, down from 7.3 percent last year.

High interest rates paid by Portugal to finance its sovereign debt have fuelled market fears that the country will need a Greece-style fiscal bailout.

The president does not run the government but he can dissolve parliament and call a general election, something which Mr Silva says could happen if he wins.

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