Montenegro additionally said his government would seek to present a comprehensive plan to fight corruption and make the Portuguese government more transparent. The announcement comes six months after his predecessor, António Costa, resigned after his official residence was raided by police in the midst of an influence-peddling probe.

But it’s unclear how Montenegro’s Democratic Alliance coalition will pass the bills needed to make his promises a reality. While the center right narrowly won last month’s snap national election, it fell far short of securing the 116 seats required to form a governing majority in the Portuguese parliament.

Meanwhile, the far-right Chega party performed above expectations to net 50 of the legislative body’s 230 seats. Because Montenegro has vowed to not make any deals with Chega, his Democratic Alliance will be obliged to seek support from the Socialist Party, which has governed the country for the past eight years.

Piecemeal agreements between the country’s two largest parties appear possible. After Chega refused to back the center-right candidate to preside over the Portuguese parliament last week, Montenegro’s lawmakers were able to forge a deal with their center-left counterparts to split the speakership, with each party’s candidate serving as speaker for two years.

Similarly, Socialist leader Pedro Nuno Santos has indicated that he is open to helping the new minority government amend the country’s budget to increase funding for teachers, police and healthcare workers.

But long-term collaboration appears unlikely. Santos has made clear that he has no intention of serving as Montenegro’s crutch, and the left wing of the Socialist Party is unlikely to lend its support to the center-right’s budget proposal for 2025.

End

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