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Portugal’s Chega Still Has No Agreement With Center-Right Group

(Bloomberg) -- Portugal’s far-right Chega party said there’s still no agreement to back a government led by center-right coalition AD following the snap election held on March 10.

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So far there’s no agreement or understanding with AD that would guarantee government stability, Chega leader Andre Ventura told reporters after meeting Portugal’s president in Lisbon on Monday. Ventura said he’d keep trying to reach an agreement.

The center-right AD alliance won the most seats in parliament in the election, narrowly beating the Socialists, who have governed for the past eight years. Chega grabbed much of the spotlight after it quadrupled the number of seats held in parliament, cementing its position as the third-biggest force.

The AD coalition on its own is well short of a parliamentary majority, which means that Portugal will likely have a minority government that may be forced to compromise on key policies and budgets to get support from other parties. Combined with Chega, AD would have an absolute majority in parliament, but center-right leader Luis Montenegro has so far ruled out agreements with Chega to get backing.

“You can’t ask us to vote in favor of a budget without wanting to negotiate with a party that has more than 1 million votes,” Ventura said on Monday.

Read more: Portugal Joins Europe’s Shift With Far-Right Support Surging

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has to meet all the parties before appointing the new prime minister, which won’t happen before March 20. The winners of four seats representing Portuguese voters living abroad still have to be determined, though Socialist leader Pedro Nuno Santos conceded defeat on election night.

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