Berliner Tageblatt - Who's who in Portugal's elections

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Who's who in Portugal's elections
Who's who in Portugal's elections / Photo: © AFP

Who's who in Portugal's elections

The head of the centre-right opposition, the new leader of the Socialist Party, and the founder of an extreme far-right formation are the main candidates in Portugal's March 10 legislative elections.

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The campaign officially gets under way on Sunday.

- Luis Montenegro -

President of the centre-right Social-Democratic Party (PSD) since May 2022, the 51-year-old led its parliamentary group when it was in power from 2011 to 2015 and imposed severe austerity measures.

Montenegro's refusal to consider any alliance with the far-right led him to break with Pedro Passos Coelho, the prime minister of that period.

Born in Portugal's second city Porto, he grew up in nearby Espinho, where he lost an election for mayor in 2005.

Trained as a lawyer, he became a deputy at 29 in 2002 and was in parliament until 2018.

He was elected as head of the PSD two years after a first failed attempt.

- Pedro Nuno Santos -

The controversial head of the Socialist Party's left wing, the bearded 46-year-old has long been a contender to replace outgoing Prime Minister Antonio Costa as party leader.

Son of a "self-made man" from the northern d'Aveiro region who made a fortune in the shoe business, he played a key role as liaison to far-left parties that supported Costa's government.

Promoted to infrastructure minister, Santos fell out with Costa for announcing the site of a new Lisbon airport without his consent.

He resigned in late 2022 after a scandal about an indemnity paid to a departing administrator at national airline TAP, which was in the midst of a restructuring plan.

- Andre Ventura -

Described as ambitious or opportunistic, or both, the 41-year-old with a youthful face and three-day beard had thought of becoming a priest or a writer. In the end, he made his name as a television sports commentator.

That opened the gates to a political career, initially with the PSD.

Originally from the Lisbon suburbs, he became a national figure when he denounced the Roma community when he was a mayoral candidate in a nearby town.

Armed with his charm and sharp tongue, Ventura quit the PSD to create "Chega" ("Enough") in 2019, spreading a populist and anti-establishment message.

Elected to parliament that year as his party's only member, he led his formation to become the country's third largest in the 2022 legislative elections.