Portugal leader sees off rivals


Anibal Cavaco Silva has won a second term as president of Portugal

Official figures show Portugal has elected its conservative president to a second term, delivering a harsh political setback to the minority Socialist government which is struggling to contain a financial crisis.

Anibal Cavaco Silva, who is supported by the main opposition Social Democratic Party, collected 53% of the vote compared with 20% for second-placed Socialist Party candidate Manuel Alegre after 98% of districts reported in the ballot.

The embattled government has enacted deeply unpopular austerity measures amid fears that the financial crisis spells economic disaster for Portugal.

The president possesses the power – known as his “atomic bomb” – to call an early general election if he feels the government is on the wrong path.

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