Left Bloc wins seats in local elections
In the portuguese local elections, which ocurred on the 1st of october, Left Bloc grew in the number of votes and councilmen elected.
The party reelected councilmen in Entroncamento, Moita, Portimão, Salvaterra de Magos, Seixal e Torres Novas, but lost in Olhão. Also, for the first time, Left Bloc elected in Almada, Abrantes, Amadora, Vila Franca de Xira and Lisboa.
In the local assemblies, the party grew from 100 elected members in 2013 to 125 in 2017. And in the local parishes, Left Bloc grew from 138 to 213 elected members.
The two coalitions supported by Left Bloc - in Peniche and in Madeira’s capital, Funchal - won the local government as well as reinforced the elected members in the assemblies.
There are three tiers of local government in Portugal, each with it’s own elected officials. On election day, each voter is given three separate balots: one to elect local councilmen to the local government (the number of councilmen is defined by the size of the population and each party is given mandates through Hondt’s method); another ballot to the municipal assembly which supervises the local government in the same way the country’s government is dependent upon parliament (each party elects assembliemen through Hondt’s method); and a third ballot for the local parishes, a bodie with it’s own executive power nominated and supported by the majority of the members elected for the parish (also through Hondt’s method).
Left Bloc’s coordinator, Catarina Martins, said that the party’s objectives - “to defeat the rightwing parties and the absolute majorities in local government” - were achieved, putting Left Bloc in a position to influence local governments. As such, the party is available to create agreements on the basis of a concrete debate on the policies to be implemented.