Rebelo de Sousa wins Portuguese presidential election

Lisbon, Jan 25 (IANS) Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a centre-right candidate of the Portuguese Social Democratic Party (SDP), won presidential elections on Sunday, preliminary results showed.

According to the ministry of internal affairs election administration, Rebelo de Sousa garnered 52 percent of the vote after nearly 99 percent of the ballots were counted, enough for him to claim victory, Xinhua news agency reported.

The 67-year-old law professor at the University of Lisbon will be sworn in as Portugal’s 20th president in March, succeeding incumbent Anibal Cavaco Silva who has served the maximum two five-year terms.

A record 10 candidates ran for president this year. Rebelo de Sousa, whose career path before entering politics included newspaper editor and TV commentator, had led the election campaign since it started on January 10.

The president-elect entered public service in the 1970s and had formerly served as SDP president as well as a member of the European Parliament.

Portugal’s constitution grants no executive power to the president, making the post largely ceremonial. However, the head of state has the power to dissolve parliament.

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