Montenegro, appointed Prime Minister of Portugal at dawn, at the head of a fragile and unstable government

Updated

Lus Montenegro He was appointed Prime Minister of Portugal on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, once the final counting of foreign votes, which took longer than expected, had been completed. The two constituencies of residents outside the Portuguese country have distributed the last four deputies Assembly of the Republic, but the official announcement only arrived after 11.30pm (12.30am today in Spain). President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, concluded his round of consultations with all the leaders, especially with Montenegro, who went twice to the Belm Palace, residence of the head of state. The first, at 5pm, for the interview with the president. The second, after midnight, will be appointed prime minister.

This Thursday, he will travel to Brussels as the new head of government European People’s Party on the eve of the European Parliament elections. The list of conservative leaders is growing and that of socialists is shrinking.

Montenegro is ahead a fragile and very unstable executive and with the sole support of his 80 deputies in a Parliament of 230 (the absolute majority is 116). Nonetheless, this Wednesday he told Rebelo de Sousa that he has a “majority to govern”. Furthermore, he will do it with a radical right-wing party, Chegavery grown up who continues to ask for entry into the government.

This Wednesday it was confirmed that Chega won the elections abroad, winning two of the four deputies still up for grabs. André Ventura will finally have 50 parliamentarians, while Democratic Alliance (AD) and the Socialist Party (PS) we take one more each, going up to 80 and 78 places. The majority match doesn’t change, but Ventura comes out stronger.

The final result represents a disaster for the PS. He didn’t just lose half a million votes. This Wednesday it became known that the current President of Parliament and former Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silvawhich was the number one of the PS for the Extra Europe constituency, came third after AD and Chega and will not even be a member of parliament.

This week, Chega continued to push to join the government. On Monday, André Ventura, after his conversation with the President of the Republic, said that Rebelo had informed him that he does not reject Chega’s entry into the Executive. And he has threatened to bring down the government within a few months by cutting its budgets if he does not join the government. «If he wants to push the country towards other elections, it will be his choice», he assured. «In front of No means no of Montenegro» -who insists on his veto to reach an agreement with the populist right-«, let’s say s is s to build an alternative,” he insisted.

Montenegro will have to govern in a minority with the specific support of the Socialist Party and Chega. The first obstacle that will be encountered will be that the Assembly of the Republic does not overturn its government program, already guaranteed because the socialist leader, Pedro Nuno Santoshe promised on election night not to hinder the formation of the government.

On Saturday the Socialist Party (PS) will hold its National Committee, the highest training body among the congresses. In that conclave you decide your strategy. On Tuesday, after the interview Pedro Nuno Santos had with Rebelo de Sousa, he was available to conclude concrete pacts with the AD minority government: «In matters where there is the possibility of agreement, we will be available; there is no reason to drag our feet.» «he said.

The socialists will let Montenegro’s new minority government go ahead by not voting against its government program – the abstention of the PS is enough – and will open themselves to the negotiation of what in Portugal they call «a corrective budget»: specific changes of the 2024 plan accounts for improving, for example, the salaries of police, teachers and health workers, one of the country’s main problems. This Wednesday, Chega sources also said that his party will be able to do so.

The socialists and Chega will thus bet on the approval of the popular measures long awaited by Portuguese society to obtain those medals. Another thing will be the Budgets 2025. In that case, Montenegro could have much more difficulty obtaining the necessary absolute majority.