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Portugal's socialist party wins parliamentary elections
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The Socialist Party (PS) led by Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has won Sunday's parliamentary elections, official results show.

The Socialists won 36.56 percent of the vote while the main opposition, the Social Democrats, got 29.09 percent after over 99 percent of the ballots were counted, said the Interior Ministry.

Socrates, in a speech to supporters, said his party has won a "huge victory."

"The Portuguese people made a clear and unambiguous choice. The Portuguese people want the PS to continue to govern Portugal," he said.

His party, however, has lost absolute majority in the 230-seat unicameral parliament. The PS won 45 percent of the vote in 2005 elections, giving it a comfortable absolute majority with 121 seats.

Three smaller parties -- the Left Bloc and the Communist/Greens coalition, and the conservative Popular Party -- became the beneficiaries of the waned support for the Socialists.

The center-right Social Democrats received 29 percent of the vote, roughly the same as in 2005 elections.

Voters for Socialists turned to the three smaller parties as Socrates' efforts to control public spending in his first term, including raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 for civil servants, antagonized them.

(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2009)

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