Portuguese American Journal

Elections – Azoreans to vote for new President – Azores

Regional elections in the Azores will be held Sunday, October 14, to elected a new legislative assembly and government leader to replace incumbent socialist Carlos César, 16 years in office as the President of the Regional Government of the Azores .

Vasco Cordeiro, the current Regional Secretary for the Economy, is now the Socialist Party candidate for Regional President to replace César in the upcoming  elections scheduled for Sunday.

Vasco Cordeiro, 39, will be challenged by opposition candidate Berta Cabral, 59, the Mayor of Ponta Delgada and the regional leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in the Azores.

According to the most recent polls, conducted by Eurosondagem, Cordeiro is the projected winner with an estimated 41,9% of votes against Cabral with 35%.

It has been also projected that without an absolute majority vote, the winner of the Sunday election may have to ally itself with the  regional Christian Democrats (CDS-PP) to form a coalition majority government.

The social democrats (PSD) won 18 of a total of 19 precincts in the Azores in the June 5 national elections, which elected Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, the national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Vasco Cordeiro graduated with a Law Degree from the University of Coimbra. Elected for the Regional Legislative Assembly in 1996, he became then the leader of the regional Socialist Party parliamentary delegation. In 2003, Vasco Cordeiro was appointed Regional Secretary for the Agriculture and Fisheries and Regional Secretary for the Presidency in 2004. He became Regional Secretary for the Economy in 2008.

Berta Cabral holds a degree in Finance from the Technical University of Lisbon. She was first elected Mayor of Ponta Delgada in 2001. She was reelected Mayor in 2005 and 2009. She is the first woman mayor of Ponta Delgada, the capital city of the Azores. She is also the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in the region. If elected, she would be the first woman President of the Regional Government of the Azores.

The Azores (population 250,000) became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores include the Legislative Assembly, composed of 52 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal.

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