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Portugal’s president appointed center-right Luis Montenegro as prime minister on Thursday, tasking him with forming a minority government following an election that has increased political instability and seen the rapid rise of the far right’s influence in the country, the BBC reported.

The Democratic Alliance (AD) won this month’s election but fell short of an absolute majority in parliament that would have allowed the party to govern without coalition partners. Its leader, Montenegro, pledged not to enter a coalition with the far-right Chega (Enough) party.

As a result, the president appointed Montenegro as prime minister.

Montenegro’s appointment came shortly after election results for the four seats representing Portuguese living abroad were published. Chega won two, while the AD and the Socialist Party won one each, Reuters reported.

Portugal now has the most fragmented parliament in its democratic history. The two traditional blocs, the AD and the Socialist Party, are neck-and-neck, with 80 and 78 seats respectively, while Chega won 50. At least 116 votes are needed to have a parliamentary majority to easily pass legislation.

This means that Montenegro will likely have to strike deals on legislation with either the Socialists or Chega.

The far-right party made substantial gains in the election, earning the highest number of seats since the end of the Portuguese dictatorship 50 years ago. Its leader, former soccer commentator André Ventura, said the AD risked triggering political instability if they refused to heed Chega’s demands.

Analysts explained the party’s success was an expression of frustration among voters after eight years of center-left rule left Portugal’s workers struggling with low wages amid rising living costs.

Now, analysts say that should the country’s new leader be able to form a minority government, the vote on the 2025 budget in the fall will be his first challenge.

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