After a long period of socio-economic hardships, burdened by the consequences of the global crisis of 2008–2009, Portugal has entered a positive development trend. Since 2015, after the Socialists led by Prime Minister Antonio Costa came to power, a period of stability has been established in the country, and the international image has improved, which in turn contributed to the influx of tourists and income growth of the tourism industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought certain originality not only to the life of the Portuguese but also to politics. The article analyzes the political processes that took place in Portugal during the pandemic. Special attention is paid to electoral vicissitudes. Since the end of 2019, four election campaigns have been held – for the election of the president of the republic, for local self-government bodies and twice for parliament, some of which have become extraordinary. The reasons that led to an unforeseen situation are considered. It is noted that all parliamentary parties, except the Socialists, opposed the government's draft budget for 2022, and the economic course of the authorities was sharply criticized both from the right and left. The opponents' attention was drawn to the underfunding of the national health system. The article briefly describes the state of this area, provides data on the sanitary and epidemiological situation during election campaigns, and traces the measures taken by the authorities to ensure the safety of citizens. It is shown that despite the increased burden on state institutions and life support services, the Portuguese authorities successfully overcame the difficulties encountered and generally coped with their tasks by taking timely and adequate measures.
Portugal; COVID-19 pandemic; healthcare system; government measures; electoral process specifics; election results.