As I wrote at The Canary towards the end of October, the conservative Portuguese president chose to go against the will of the majority of Portuguese citizens after the recent elections by giving the right-wing incumbent prime minister the green light to continue governing.
Now, however, the Portuguese left appears to have got its act together and formed an alliance capable of defeating the minority right-wing government. On 10 November, The Guardian explains, this left-wing coalition:
used a parliamentary vote on policy to force the government to resign
This always seemed destined to happen (as long as the different parties on the left kept their heads), but the president’s previous decision was nonetheless an incredibly divisive move – which suggested he was completely uninterested in the voices of the majority of citizens being heard. And this logically increased political polarisation in the country.
According to Catarina Martins, co-chair of Portugal’s Syriza-esque Left Bloc, it was those who had voted for her party and the Communist Party which had left both the right-wingers and the country’s austerity-lite Socialist Party without a majority in October’s elections. These people (around a million), she said, were responsible for forcing the socialists into a coaltion, insisting:
It is thanks to them we are today entitled to hope for a government that won’t bring about more impoverishment throughout next year
What remains to be seen is whether the new left-wing coalition will be more successful than Syriza at resisting the neoliberal status quo reigning today in the European Union.
Image via Steinsplitter