Who will Portugal choose as president on Sunday?

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By Euronews  with AFP
Who will Portugal choose as president on Sunday?

The news

Portugal will vote for a new president on Sunday.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a Social Democrat whose centre-right party was recently ousted from power by the Socialists, is leading in the polls.

One gave him almost 55 percent of the vote, way ahead of his closest rival, Socialist Sampaio de Novoa.

It is enough to win without a second-round ballot.

17 to 22% of the vote has been predicted for Mr de Novwa.

It is estimated Socialist former Health Minister Maria de Belem Roseira will win between 8 and 13 percent of the national vote.

MEP Marisa Matias is the candidate for the radical Left Bloc.

The 39-year-old is currently in fourth position in the polls with between 5 and 8 percent support.

The context

Portugal’s new president is likely to play an increasingly important role either as a mediator between parties or a stakeholder who can use his power to disband parliament.

The newly-elected government is struggling to reconcile pledges to end austerity with budget deficit cuts promised to the EU.

Analysts say the new president’s power to disssolve parliament could prove decisive.

Whoever wins on Sunday can use it from the end of April to obtain the clear majority which failed to materialise in last October’s election.