- Created: Monday, 07 December 2015 22:04
- Written by Alvaro Michaels
The failure of the Portuguese left to combat the opportunism of the Portuguese Socialist Party effectively and force it into an electoral alliance before the 4 October parliamentary elections, gave room for the state president to refuse to invite them to form a government despite electoral gains by both the Socialist and Left Bloc parties. President Anibal Cavaco Silva’s obstruction directly reflects European financial interests and NATO’s political pressures.
In an openly reactionary step, President Silva was able to refuse to invite a coalition of electorally successful but disunited left parties to form a government on the grounds that in any case the left would violate existing commitments to the EU/IMF – the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, the euro itself and NATO. Constitutionally, a presidential election in January prevents another parliamentary election until June, so a government should be formed out of the recent election results. Thus on 22 October, gambling on continued divisions on the left, the president gave the incumbent, yet electorally defeated, Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, a new mandate to form a minority government. Coelho’s right-wing coalition won only 36.8 % of the vote. His ‘Portugal Ahead’ alliance of the conservative Social Democratic Party plus the neoliberal Democratic and Social Centre People’s Party is committed to maintaining the austerity programme agreed in the €78bn European Commission/European Central Bank/IMF bailout of 2011.