Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Calls for Snap Election in January

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has called for a snap election on January 30 after the national assembly rejected the government’s draft budget for 2022.

In a televised address at the Palace of Belem on Nov. 4, Sousa announced that he has dissolved the parliament and scheduled for a snap election next year.

“At times like this, there is always a solution in democracy. No dramas or fears. It is part of the very life of democracy,” Sousa said.

“It is the path ahead of us to restore certainty, security, stability, overcoming this rejection of the budget,” Sousa further said.

It was the first time in 45 years a state budget was not approved, according to Sousa.

Sousa said the budget defeat “completely divided the government” and had major divergences in relevant social areas, such as social security or labor legislation.

After the parliament is dissolved, the government is expected to function in a caretaker capacity until the election.

Sousa has given parties additional time for any leadership elections to take place by scheduling the snap election near the end of January.

The budget defeat and early election comes after a period of relative political stability under Prime Minister António Costa.

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