Social Democrats to kick off crucial party audiences with president

Page created: Friday, 20 November 2015 8:46 GMT

General Elections  Government  Presidency

Portugal’s Social Democratic Party, as the largest in parliament, will be the first to be heard by the country’s president on Friday, as part of a series of audiences with all parties represented in the assembly as the head of state ponders his next move following the resignation last week of the right-of-centre minority government.

The hearings are the only step that is constitutionally required before the president makes a decision on appointing a prime minister, although he has in recent days been holding audiences with business and employer organisations, trade unions, leading bankers and economists.

Friday’s audience with the Social Democrats is scheduled for 9.30am, followed at 10.30am by that with the second largest group in parliament, the Socialist Party, and at 11.30am by those for the the Left Bloc. The People’s Party, the junior partner in the outgoing coalition, is to be heard at 12.30pm.

After lunch, there are to be audiences with the Communist Party at 3.30pm, Greens at 4.30pm, and parliamentary newcomer People-Animals-Nature at 5.30pm.

The president, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, is seen as most likely to appoint the Socialist leader, António Costa, prime minister after his party reached agreements with the three other left-of-centre parties that they all say make viable a Socialist government. His other options are asking the incumbent to stay on in a caretaker capacity or appointing a government of presidential initiative – something that has not however been done for several decades now.