Portuguese American Journal

June 5 elections: 83 percent of emigrants didn’t vote – Update

According to the final results released Friday by the National Election Commission, less than 17 percent of the Portuguese living abroad cast their ballots for the June 5 elections, representing an absenteeism rate of 83 percent.

Out of a total of 195,109 emigrant eligible voters, only 33, 059 voted (16.9%). Of those, 18, 180 (23.9%) cast their vote in European countries and 15,148 (12, 6%) voted in non-European countries.

In spite of the low participation, there was an increase of 8.000 votes cast for the June 5 elections, compared to the 2009 elections.  An estimated 5 million Portuguese live abroad.

Recent figures from the Bank of Portugal showed that in 2010 Portuguese emigrants worldwide sent home over 2,403 billion euros ($3,460 USD billion).

A record high percentage of blank votes — 12.1 percent from European countries and 16.8 percent from non-European countries — was registered.

According to the final official data released Friday, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) won 38.7 percent of the vote and 108 parliamentary seats; the Socialist Party (PS) won 28 percent of the vote and 74 seats; the Christian Democrats (CDS-PP) won 11.71 percent of the vote and 24 seats. The Communist Party (PC) won 16 seats and the Left Bloc 8 seats.

With the emigrant vote, the winning Social Democrat party (PSD) added 3 additional parliament seats and the Socialist Party (PS) added 1 parliamentary seat out of a total of 226 seats. 

Paulo Alexandre de Carvalho Pisco (PS) and Carlos Alberto Silva Gonçalves (PSD) were elected to represent the Portuguese emigrant population in European countries; while José de Almeida Cesário (PSD) and Carlos António Gonçalves (PSD) were elected to represent the Portuguese emigrant population in non-European countries.

The official rate of absenteeism was estimated at a record high of 42 percent.

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