18 January 2022

All media outlets focus very heavily on the televised election debate involving the leaders of the nine parties with representation in parliament, with most noting that it was a debate between PM Costa and the other eight leaders. The death of a child in an apparent reaction after testing positive for Covid is also featured in some outlets, although the details behind the death remain very vague.

Lusa begins its coverage of the televised nine-way leaders’ debate by reporting PM Costa’s admission that should his party lose the elections he will resign as secretary-general of the PS on election night. His main opponent, Rui Rio, leader of the PSD, said he has no intention of following suit. RTP, Público, Expresso, CNN Portugal and DN all note that during the debate, in which governance, taxes, the Health Service and economic growth were the main topics of conversation, PM Costa said unequivocally that he was seeking “an absolute majority that would guarantee stability for four years”. Público and DN report that PM Costa spent two hours during the debate taking “beatings from everyone” – more from the right than from the left.

CNN Portugal and DN carry a report from the National Authority for Medicament and Health Products (Infarmed) confirming, without any further detail, that it has been notified of a suspected adverse reaction of a child who died in Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital at the weekend with a suspected adverse reaction after testing positive for Covid-19.

RTP looks at the case against the former banker João Rendeiro, who is currently in jail in South Africa, noting that his defence team has written to South Africa’s President and Justice Minister claiming there were a series of procedural flaws in the case against him as he fights to avoid extradition to Portugal.

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