Portugal parliament elects Socialist speaker with support of left

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 23, 2015 11:14 AM

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's parliament elected on Friday a Socialist speaker of the house, as leftist parties used their majority in the new parliament to block the incoming center-right government's candidate.

Lawmakers said Socialist Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues was elected with 120 votes in the 230-seat house, defeating the center-right Social Democrat candidate who received 108 votes.

The vote on the speaker provided a foretaste of the left's plans to topple Pedro Passos Coelho's coalition after he was named as the new prime minister by the president on Thursday against the wishes of the main opposition Socialist Party.

Passos Coelho won the most votes in an Oct. 4 election and in keeping with political tradition was named on Thursday as prime minister despite losing his majority in parliament.

But, together with the hard left Communists and Left Bloc, the Socialists obtained a majority in parliament in the election and those three parties want to oust the center-right and form their own anti-austerity government.

(Reporting By Axel Bugge and Sergio Goncalves)