Some afraid of what may come out of the polls and others tired of the politics of recent years, the inhabitants of Portugal They went this Sunday to vote in an election “very mysterious“that will decide who the next Government will be.

“They are very mysterious elections,” Gonçalo Mendes, a 19-year-old young man who went to vote accompanied by his mother, told EFE. to a peculiar polling station installed in a car workshop, next to Largo do Rato, in the center of Lisbon.

Shortly before 10:00 a.m. local time, and in the middle of a lull in the intermittent rain that marks election day in the capital, Gonçalo cast his vote for the first time in legislative elections a few meters from a car with the hood up.

In his case, this first experience is marked by the “fear” of the results: “I think they are decisive elections, mainly in case we are going to have a government with or without extreme right,” he reflected.

The role of the far-right Chega, the third force for which the polls predict progress in one of the great doubts of these electionsin which a victory for the traditional right is expected, but without an absolute majority.

“Fear” is what has moved some to go to the polls in a country where in the last legislative elections, in 2022, abstention was close to 50%. For others, it is exhaustion.

“People want to vote, because they are tired and fed up,” Joana told EFE., which defends that the elections are “extremely important”, because a “change is necessary in the country, which has been stagnant between two parties.” Joana, who voted at one of the headquarters of the Autonomous University of Lisbon, He believes that after the pandemic there is a “different feeling that things can go wrong”, and that is why people will go to the polls throughout this day.

At this polling station, at the beginning of the morning, voters arrived in dribs and drabs, some accompanied by their dogs or their children, and without queues to cast their ballot.

The visit to the polls surprised them sooner than expected, since the elections were called early due to the resignation of the prime minister, the socialist António Costa, after being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office.

The general feeling is that holding new elections was the only alternative to what happened. “There was no other option, because what happened was serious,” María Filomena, 63, one of the earliest risers at the Autonomous University school, told EFE.

The members of the different tables They opened the day counting the votes of those who opted for early voting last weekend, in which almost 181,000 of the 208,000 citizens who had signed up, 95%, cast their ballots, according to data from the Ministry of Internal Administration.

But the bulk of the 9.3 million people who vote there, including another 1.5 million living abroad, do so this Sunday. “We have a very good influx for this time,” Vasco Morgado, the president of the Freguesia Board – a municipal body lower than the City Council – of Santo António, to which the schools of the Autonomous University and the Rato workshop belong, assured EFE.

Morgado highlighted that this year there are many young people who are making their debut in voting and he trusted that these new generations will participate actively: “They are very interested in their presence in society.”

This is the case of young Gonçalo, who is clear about the problems that the next Government must solve. “The lack of investment in the social state, in the National Health Service, on public transport and on teachers. “They need help and right now no one is giving it to them,” he said.


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