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21 February 2005

Socrates is the new Portuguese Prime Minister.

Anxious Portuguese swing left
By Alison Roberts BBC News, Lisbon

Jose Socrates triumphs - but the honeymoon may soon be over.
Portugal's Socialist Party has swept back into power after three years in opposition, with its biggest ever election win. The Socialists, who will need to act decisively to reinvigorate the ailing economy, secured 45% of the vote. Outgoing Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes's centre-right Social Democratic Party secured just 28%, and its coalition partner for the past three years, the right-wing Popular Party, 7%. In his victory speech, Socialist leader Jose Socrates pledged to restore confidence in the country and its institutions, but said little about his policy priorities.

The single biggest factor in the Socialist win was the unpopularity of the incumbent administration

Now with an absolute majority in the National Assembly, Socrates has no excuses if he is unable to accomplish what he has promised...

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