Portugal swears in new conservative government

New Prime Minister Luis Montenegro vows to carry out ‘political change' that voters demanded

12:00 - 3/04/2024 Wednesday
Portugal's Prime Minister Luis Montenegro
Portugal's Prime Minister Luis Montenegro

Portugal's president swore in the country's new conservative government, headed by Prime Minister Luis Montenegro, on Tuesday evening.

Montenegro's Democratic Alliance party achieved a slim victory over the Socialists in the March elections, winning by a margin of just two seats.

However, the country took a definitive swing to the right, especially compared to the Socialist-won majority in 2022.

Although the top two parties were close, the far-right party Chega surged in popularity, winning 50 seats — 38 more than in 2022.

Montenegro will govern with a minority, and there is no Chega presence in his Cabinet.

At the same time, he said he is ready to govern for the next four years and called on the rest of the country's politicians to demonstrate their “maturity and commitment to the will of the Portuguese people.”

Montenegro said one of his priorities is to reduce taxes “to value work, retain young people and encourage and attract investment.”

He also said he would implement structural reforms in the country's health care system, which has seen mass mobilizations of striking workers in recent years and months.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recognized that Montenegro's government has a “complex” mandate and that dialogue across political aisles will become fundamental.

In a speech, he even gave the new prime minister some advice about how to navigate the new political scene. “Break up an issue into several smaller ones and solve them one by one, without losing sight of the whole.”

Meanwhile, Montenegro also emphasized the need for a political consensus around fighting corruption.

Both his party and the Socialist party were rocked by recent corruption scandals, triggering former Prime Minister Antonio Costa to call snap elections.

#EU- Portugal- Elections 2024
#Luis Montenegro
12 days ago