Portugal’s President Marcello Rebelo de Susa re-elected: exit poll

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    The forecast states that the center-right incumbent has won a second and final five-year term.

    According to exit polls, Marcello Rebelo de Susa, the centrally-placed candidate, has won the presidential election of Portugal.

    A poll conducted by the Portuguese Catholic University polling station for public broadcaster RTP on Sunday indicated that Rebelo de Susa captured between 57–62 percent of the vote to secure a second and final five-year term.

    To avoid a runoff against the runners-up on 14 February, 72-year-old Rebelo de Susa had to win an absolute majority. Official results are expected on Monday night.

    The poll suggested that socialist candidate Ana Gomes was second with 13–16 percent.

    In a shocking result, neo-rightist populist Andre Ventura came in third with 9–12 percent, Poole indicated. Such an appearance for an extremist in mainstream Portuguese politics would have been unthinkable until recent times.

    A woman wearing a protective mask cast her ballot for Portugal’s presidential election [Pedro Nunes/Reuters]

    Exit polls estimated 45–50 percent lower than in recent elections, and clearly confirmed concerns that some people would stay away from fear of being infected with COVID-19.

    The number of COVID-19 deaths broke in a row on Sunday for the seventh day, at 275, with hospitalization at an all-time high.

    According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has the world’s highest rate of new infections and deaths per 100,000 population.

    The 72-year-old Rebelo de Susa, a former leader of the center-right Social Democratic Party, has worked closely with the Center’s leftist minority socialist government, which has supported its pandemic efforts.

    He With his effortless style, he has presented himself to the Portuguese. Photographs taken by passers-by in public places, such as their final year queuing up in a supermarket wearing sneakers and shorts, are regularly viral.

    With the country in lockdown, none of the usual flag-waving rallies were shown in the election campaign but the ban on the movement was lifted on polling day.

    Authorities increased the number of polling stations and allowed early voting to reduce congestion on election day. Among other precautions, voters wearing masks were asked to bring their own pens and disinfectants at polling stations.


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