21 parties register for Portugal’s general election Oct. 4

By 08.27.2015 news > World

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s National Election Commission says 21 parties, some in coalitions, will field candidates in the Oct. 4 general election.

The commission said late Wednesday that only 14 parties will run in all 22 electoral districts.

The Social Democratic Party and the Popular Party — which formed Portugal’s center-right coalition government for the past four years — are standing together. Their main rival is the center-left Socialist Party. Between them, the three main parties are expected to collect more than 70 percent of the vote, similar to previous elections.

All the main parties say they will abide by the fiscal discipline required by being in the 19-nation eurozone, although the Socialists have promised to ease some austerity measures.

Recent polls indicate the governing coalition and the Socialists are roughly neck-and-neck, raising the prospect of a minority government.

Although the pay and pension cuts, tax increases and reduced public services introduced after a 78 billion-euro ($88 billion) bailout in 2011 are deeply unpopular, Portugal has not witnessed the rise of any major radical party like Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain.

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