Europe’s loneliest far-right party losing election battle in Portugal

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09/30/2019

Waving Portuguese flags, leaders of the far-right National Renovation Party (PNR) waited for more people to turn up at a mid-September rally in Lisbon, but their patriotic chants fell on deaf ears. No one joined the 50 or so party faithful gathered on this quaint square to campaign for the Oct. 6 parliamentary election. A few passerby did stop, but only to yell: “Fascists!” At a time when far-right populist movements are on the rise in most of Europe, such poor turnouts are the norm for their peers in Portugal, where the center-left Socialists are expected to stay in power. A nostalgia for Salazar, a harsh line towards migrants, the ethnic Roma and the LGBT community are common traits for PNR and Chega. In its election manifesto, with the Trumpian slogan “make Portugal great again”, PNR promised to halt the construction of mosques and repeal the same-sex marriage law.

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