Portugal's president to dissolve parliament; snap election looms

  • World
  • Thursday, 04 Nov 2021

FILE PHOTO: Re-elected Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa addresses journalists after the announcement of electoral results in Lisbon, Portugal, January 24, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) -Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa's consultative body, the Council of State, approved on Wednesday his proposal to dissolve parliament after lawmakers rejected the government's 2022 budget bill last week, paving the way for an election.

A statement from the president's office said only that a majority of Council members had approved the dissolution of parliament, but it did not say when a snap election could take place.

Rebelo de Sousa still needs to sign the dissolution decree.

Parliament's rejection of the budget does not automatically trigger an election, but the president, who is expected to address the nation on Thursday evening, had warned before the vote that he would have no other option.

The minority Socialist government's state budget was rejected by left-wing and right-wing parties alike, effectively ending six years of relative political stability under Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

Rebelo de Sousa met with the main political parties over the weekend, and most told him the snap election should take place in January. Portuguese newspaper Expresso said Rebelo de Sousa still wants to take time to reflect on a date.

(Reporting by Lisbon bureau; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Paul Simao)

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