Portugal votes for new president at height of pandemic

  24 January 2021    Read: 419
Portugal votes for new president at height of pandemic

Masked, socially distanced and each given their own pen to avoid spreading germs, Portugal headed to the polls on Sunday to vote for the largely ceremonial post of president even as coronavirus cases reach record levels, AzVision.az citing Reuters.

Opinion polls show that the incumbent, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, is likely to win with ease.

Voters queued up as polls opened in the Lisbon parish of Santo Antonio, guided by red stickers on the ground marking the two-metre gap.

“I’m here among the first to avoid groups and queues,” Cristina Queda, 58, said as she waited. “Since the date of the elections wasn’t changed, I decided to come early to avoid that situation.”

Just under two thirds of Portuguese thought the election should have been postponed because of the pandemic, according to a poll conducted last week by research institute ISC/ISCTE.

Pollsters predict record abstention of 60-70% in part because hundreds of thousands of voters are themselves in quarantine.

 


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