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Coronavirus

Portuguese President Tested Positive for Coronavirus

January 12, 2021

LISBON, Portugal — The office of the Portuguese president says that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa tested positive for coronavirus although the veteran politician has no symptoms.

Rebelo de Sousa, who took office in 2016 and is 72, is seeking a second term in the country’s presidential election on Jan. 24.

A laboratory test with the so-called PCR technique late on Monday revealed that the president was positive for the virus, despite an antigen test having come out negative earlier in the day, his office said in a statement.

The president is self-isolating in a residential area in Belem, in the west of central Lisbon and has suspended all his agenda for coming days, it said.

As the head of state, the president is largely a figurehead in Portugal, where the prime minister and his cabinet are in charge of the day-to-day affairs. He wields large influence nevertheless, and he holds the authority to appoint the prime minister and dissolve parliament.

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