“To those who can and who want to vote, overcome your fears”, declared the current head of state after having voted himself in his stronghold of Celorico de Basto, in the region of Minho (north).
“The vote is going well throughout the country, with distancing, respect for sanitary rules and patience on the part of the Portuguese. (…) People can vote without any problem,” he insisted.
With a participation rate of 35.4% at 4:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. in Belgium), the mobilization seemed only slightly down compared to the 2016 presidential election (37.7% at the same time), while some analysts feared a record abstention of around 70%.
Local media screenings are expected at 8:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. in Belgium) and the official results will be announced immediately, but all polls conducted before the election predicted the incumbent’s victory in the first round.
The stake of the ballot is also to know what score will make the extreme right candidate André Ventura. Seeking to confirm the progression of right-wing populism in a country that until now has been an exception internationally, he set himself the goal of coming in second, ahead of former socialist MEP Ana Gomes .