It is back to business for Portugal’s new Parliament, holding its first session after a general election in September.
The Prime Minister says he and his Socialists will rule on their own, despite losing an absolute majority in the assembly. Jose Socrates said he has held talks with other parties but none are interested in forming a coalition. “All the other political parties have declared they don’t even want to start a dialogue of long lasting commitment that could contribute to reinforcing political instability,” he added. The first order of business was a vote to re-elect Socialist Jaime Gama as Speaker. But the real test of the new regime will come towards the end of the month, when it puts its programme guidelines to the vote. The opposition has vowed not to be obstructive, but whether it will succeed in ignoring personal interest for stable government remains to be seen.