Portugal elects new president

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LISBON: Law professor and TV pundit Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, 67, was the clear winner Sunday in Portugal’s presidential election, taking 52 percent of the vote. The overwhelming favorite, Rebelo de Sousa was far ahead of his closest rival, independent leftist Antonio Sampaio da Novoa, who won 22.89 percent, according to a nearly complete count. Fifty percent was required to avoid a runoff. Although largely ceremonial, Portugal’s presidency has make-or-break power over the nation’s fragile ruling alliance and the right to dissolve parliament in the event of a crisis. “I want to restore national unity,” while “our country is emerging from a deep economic and social crisis,” said Rebelo de Sousa, pledging to “be a free and independent president.”

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AFP

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