Voting starts in Portugal’s snap election

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Early voting began in Portugal on Sunday for a snap general election, with polls showing the incumbent Socialists still ahead though with their lead over the nearest centre-right rivals narrowing.

Over 300,000 voters have signed up to vote a week early, with polls opening at 8am (0800 GMT).

The early voting option was provided this year to reduce crowding on election day, next Sunday, due to the pandemic.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who has led two consecutive minority Socialist governments since 2015, cast his ballot in the northern city of Porto.

The snap polls were called after he failed to secure support for his 2022 budget from the two smaller far-left parties that had been propping up his government.

It was the first time a budget was voted down since the EU member returned to democracy in 1974.

Photo – Secretary-General of the Socialist Party (PS), Antonio Costa exercises his right to vote in advance of the 2022 Legislative Elections on 30 January, Pavilhao Rosa Mota, Porto, 23 January 2022. More than 10 million voters living in Portugal and abroad are on the electoral roll for the choice of the 230 Members of Parliament. EPA-EFE/MIGUEL A. LOPES

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