Portuguese Communists ready to form government with Socialists

LISBON – The head of Portugal’s Communist Party said on Wednesday it along with the Socialists and a smaller leftist party could form a majority government as an alternative to the center-right.

Political uncertainty has enveloped Portugal since an inconclusive Oct. 4 election, with both caretaker Social Democratic prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho and Socialist leader Antonio Costa now striving to form different governments.

A protracted political stand-off could undermine a nascent economic recovery in Portugal just a year after it emerged from an international financial bailout.

“From our point of view there is another government solution that blocks the (center-right) Social Democrats and CDS from forming a government,” Communist leader Jeronimo de Sousa told reporters after meeting President Anibal Cavaco Silva.

“There is a large majority of lawmakers (ready) to form a Socialist-led government, which will allow it to present a program and start working with lasting solutions to defend national interests, workers and the Portuguese people.”

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