President of Portugal Refuses to Appoint Left-Wing Government

Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva / AP
• October 23, 2015 5:39 pm


Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva refused to appoint a left-wing constitutional government even after leftist parties secured a majority in parliament.

The Telegraph reported:

He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets. Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership. "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," said Mr Cavaco Silva.

Cavaco Silva labeled it the "worst moment for a radical change to the foundations of our democracy" given Portugal’s financial situation.

The president is allowing Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, who leads the center-right minority, to begin a second term in office. Coelho won the general election earlier this month but did not secure an absolute parliamentary majority.

On Friday, Portugal’s parliament elected a socialist speaker of the house.