The Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa was in a celebrating mood on Sunday night when the results indicated that the Socialist Party had made major gains in national municipal elections that took place over the weekend.
According to the Prime Minister his party “had achieved its biggest local election victory in history”, taking 38 percent of the vote and 153 municipalities, including Lisbon, the country’s biggest city and taking control of Funchal, Madeira’s largest municipality for the first time, in a coalition with the smaller parties that support his government.
The local elections consisted of three separate voting for the 308 Portuguese municipalities, for the election for the Municipal Chambers, as well as the choice of 3,000 “freguesias”, Parish Assemblies.
The Portuguese Prime Minister attributed the local elections results to the growing optimism about the Portuguese economy, which if the trend subsists, could also influence the outcome legislative elections to be held in two years time when citizens will vote for the Assembleia da Republica.
The economic revival is due mainly to an increase in proceeds from tourism and exports sectors.
The most negatively affected party by the results of these municipal elections is the Social Democrats Party, led by Passos Coelho, who indicated that may leave the leadership of his political organization.
Conversely, the conservative CDS party, led by Assuncao Cristas, who was running for mayor of the Portuguese capital , became the second biggest force in the Lisbon municipality, also registering gains countrywide.