17 January 2022

The official launch of the two-week election campaign is widely covered, with most outlets discussing the Socialist Party (PS) rally on the Azores, where the regional government has been run by an unstable coalition of five right-wing parties. Some outlets also cover the launch of the Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) campaign in the northern cities of Barcelos and Braga and the first exchanges between the leaders of the political parties.

Lusa, Expresso, Público and DN all report on the official launch of the PS election campaign with a rally in Vila Franca do Campo on the Azores attended by 300 people, at which the party’s General Secretary, Prime Minister António Costa, pointed to the Azorean regional government’s “unstable” coalition of five right-wing parties, including Chega! and the PSD, calling for a PS majority that will guarantee stability and act as a “vaccine” to prevent “a victory of the entire right, including the extreme right”.

Rui Rio launched the PSD’s official campaign in the northern cities of Barcelos and Braga, where CNN Portugal reports there was a rally of PSD supporters calling for the election of “many Rui Rios for Portugal”. Público notes that in Barcelos, Rio appealed for a “positive campaign” even as he criticised what he called António Costa’s “lies” about the PSD’s proposals on the National Health Service and Social Security, assuring his audience they will continue to be paid for “out of taxation”.

CNN Portugal discusses a tweet by António Costa in which he said he had registered to vote early in Porto on 23 January, explaining the early registration process “so that everyone can vote safely”, and notes, along with TSF, that Chega!’s André Ventura and Rui Rio of the PSD joked that the PS leader, who is head of the party list in Lisbon, does not even want to “vote for himself”.

TSF is the only outlet to give prominence to the launch of the Left Bloc (BE) campaign with a rally in Viseu at which the party’s coordinator, Catarina Martins, promised to fight on a “contract for the country against the economy of privilege and inequality and economic crime and corruption”.

RTP reports on the growing number of school pupils who are unable to attend classes because of Covid-19, noting that schools in the Algarve’s Quarteira school district have begun holding classes remotely for pupils who are self-isolating.

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