As was the case across the globe, Portugal did not see Brexit coming nor did it expect Donald Trump to occupy the Oval Office this January. But it happened and Portugal reacted with shock, with many celebrities and ordinary folk taking to social media to express their dismay at the American presidential election results.
A victory for Hillary Clinton might have been widely anticipated in Portugal, but positions here had to be reassessed and the outlines of speeches congratulating the new American president rewritten as Donald Trump emerged victorious in the American presidential elections.
As would be normally expected following a major event, the most contained response to the election of Donald Trump came from the President’s office in Belém.
In a statement issued shortly after the results were announced, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa “sent a message congratulating the President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, wishing him all the success in exercising the functions he has been called to perform by the American people.”
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also made reference to “the links of friendship that bind Portugal and the United States and the significant Portuguese and Portuguese-descendant communities resident in the country.”
He also expressed the hope that the new American President would provide continuity to the country’s great history and tradition of democracy.
The ruling Socialist Party was much more guarded in its response.
Socialist Party chairman Carlos César told journalists that “Trump’s victory speech does not coincide with most of what he said during his campaign, so the focus is now clearly on his unpredictability as a leader.”
The Communist Party, which is an alliance partner with the Socialist Government, warned that Trump’s election could see “a deepening of America’s reactionary and aggressive foreign policy.”
The ruling Socialists’ other alliance partner, the Left Bloc, shared similar views.
The Left Bloc’s Political Committee issued a statement to say the U.S. presidential result “is bad news for America and bad news for the world as it is a victory for the policy of hatred.”
The party further lamented that “hatred of equality, immigration and civil rights” emerged victorious as it represents the winning Republican candidate.