Who will Portugal choose as president on Sunday?

Who will Portugal choose as president on Sunday?
By Euronews with AFP
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Analysts say the power to dissolve parliament is key

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.

Especial Presidenciais 2016: Entrevista a Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa https://t.co/H2Gt7GkHKNpic.twitter.com/OtLL7XmGhy

— Diário Económico (@diarioeconomico) January 22, 2016

Will #Portugal lean right? https://t.co/sYMqc9NJxqpic.twitter.com/2687X8HjIc

— POLITICO Europe (@POLITICOEurope) January 20, 2016

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

Sampaio da Nóvoa e o júri que chumbou Saldanha Sanches https://t.co/4BFLGXXrORpic.twitter.com/SBLrg3kOIN

— André Azevedo Alves (@AzevedoAlves) January 22, 2016

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

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

Maria de Belém pediu ao TC devolução das subvenções vitalícias dos políticos

— Expresso (@expresso) January 19, 2016

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

Marisa Matias retirava confiança ao governador do Banco de Portugal se fosse Presidente https://t.co/U5gtNgcli6pic.twitter.com/SvHB9j4Trt

— Jornal de Negócios (@JNegocios) January 18, 2016

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.

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