Portugal has been in the news over the past few days as there has been a growing constitutional crisis over the President’s refusal to appoint a left wing coalition in place of the current Social Democratic (Conservatives) government.
Speaking about the crisis the current President, Anibal Cavaco Silva said;
In 40 years of democracy, no government in Portugal has ever depended on the support of anti-European forces, that is to say forces that campaigned to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro, in addition to wanting the dissolution of NATO.
At the recent General Election the left wing parties led by the Socialists won 50.7% of the vote to the centre right’s 38.5%.
The left wing parties have said that the current government will face an immediate vote of no confidence, however due to Portuguese Constitution a new election would not be able to be held until May/June 2016.
However, the EU seems content to allow this to happen. A Prime Minister is in office who has clearly lost the confidence of his people and parliament and there is an alternative who can command a majority, yet the President refuses to appoint him.
Tim Montgomerie puts the critique very well in The Times
Another view supporting the President can be found here
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs