The center-right politician and TV pundit Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is close to securing victory in Portugal's presidential election. With nearly all the votes counted, he looks set to win more than the 50% needed. Here is Alison Roberts.
“Mr. Rebelo de Sousa is to take over in March at a time when a minority socialist government is implementing legislation to reverse four years of austerity by the previous right-center government, which included the Social-Democratic Party that he once led. Many observers suspect that the deals in Parliament, the Socialists, with the radical left and communists to ensure the new government’s survival will come apart within a year or so. So the normally ceremonial figure of president, who has the power to dissolve Parliament at will, could soon end up playing a more active role.”