LISBON: Portugal’s opposition Socialists inflicted a stinging defeat on the Social Democrats in local elections as voters displayed their frustrations at the government’s austerity measures.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho admitted his conservative Social Democrat party’s (SDP) “national defeat” in the municipal polls on Sunday (Monday in Manila), which saw them lose control of the major cities of Porto, Sintra and Vila Nova de Gaia to the Socialists, according to partial results.
The opposition Socialists also retained power in the capital Lisbon, with an increased share of the vote.
“We had the goal of retaining the majority of town halls but that didn’t happen,” Passos Coelho said, congratulating the opposition Socialists for their “significant victory.”
“As Prime Minister I will continue along the path we are on, which is essential in order to overcome the economic crisis and restore confidence and growth for Portugal,” the prime minister insisted.