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Portuguese vote for status quo in local elections

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Portuguese vote for status quo in local elections
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Portugal’s opposition Social Democrats have been celebrating following yesterday’s local elections. Early results indicate they have held their strongholds in Porto, Lisbon and Sintra. But there is relief among ruling Socialists who do not appear to have suffered the mass losses widely predicted.

Campaign coordinator, Jorge Coelho, told party faithful the Socialists looked to have won the same number of votes as in the last municipal poll in 2001. “In a democracy,” he said, “You have to know how to lose as well as to win and it’s clear that the Socialist Party has not acheived its stated objectives in these elections.” Among those celebrating, Carmona Rodrigues, Lisbon’s new mayor. Although standing as an independent, he was backed by the Social Democrats. Despite the festivities, the opposition will be disappointed not to have done better in the vote. They were hoping to capitalise on public anger over the austerity measures introduced by the government.