November 10, 2015 / 5:33 PM / 3 years ago

Portugal leftist lawmakers reject center-right, government falls

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese leftist lawmakers rejected the center-right government’s program in parliament on Tuesday, prompting its collapse and opening the way for a possible alternative administration led by the Socialists.

Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (C) speaks during a debate on government programmes at the parliament in Lisbon, Portugal, November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

Left-wing lawmakers voted by 123 in the 230-seat parliament to reject the center-right’s program, marking the first time since 1978 that Portugal has ousted the government at its first hurdle after an election.

The center-right won the most votes at the Oct. 4 election but lost its parliament majority, which swung to the left. Lawmakers from the Socialist, far left Communists and Left Bloc parties grouped together in Tuesday’s vote to oust the government with the aim of ending austerity.

Reporting By Axel Bugge and Andrei Khalip

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