• Portugal Socialists to vote for govt ouster

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    LISBON: The Portuguese Socialist Party’s internal political committee said late Sunday it had recommended its MPs support a motion to take down the country’s minority center-right government.

    The party (PS), which last week formed an unprecedented alliance with the far left and appeared set to take over the government, will along with other lawmakers vote on the issue on Tuesday.

    The PS’s governing body overwhelmingly voted to give the green light to forming a socialist coalition government with the Communists and their allies.

    Together, the three hold 122 seats out of 230 in Portugal’s parliament.

    “The formation and approval of a government by parliament is guaranteed,” the PS’s political committee said in a statement cited by the Lusa news agency.

    The center-right coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho won an October 4 general election, despite its unpopular austerity budgeting, but lost the outright majority it had enjoyed since 2011.

    The Socialists, who came second in the election, are seeking to oust the government in order to end the austerity drive undertaken by Lisbon in return for an international bailout in 2011.

    The alliance between the PS, Communists and their allies is the first of its kind since the birth of a democratic Portugal in 1974, and had seemed unimaginable just weeks ago due to the differences between the various leftist groups.

    AFP

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