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President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at a polling station in Celorico de Basto, Portugal, on Sunday. The election took place with strict social distancing rules and other coronavirus precuatins in effect. Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Portugal's center-right President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said after being re-elected with 61% of the vote for a second term Sunday his priority will be to "combat the pandemic," per Reuters.

Why it matters: Portugal is currently on lockdown with the highest seven-day COVID-19 average per 100,000 and some of the highest death rates in the world, according to Johns Hopkins.

  • It reported on Saturday 274 deaths from COVID-19 and 15,333 new cases — both new records.
  • Presidents in Portugal can veto some laws and declare states of emergency despite the role being largely ceremonial, and Rebelo de Sousa has used this power "often during the pandemic," Reuters notes.

Of note: Portugal was once known for having no real far-right presence in politics. But the far-right candidate André Ventura surged, winning 13% of the vote — just behind socialist candidate, Ana Gomes, who achieved 13%.

  • Ventura, who ran on a populist anti-immigration platform, was fined by Portugal's Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination for disparaging posts, the New York Times reports. He once said Roma community members should be should be "segregated" during the pandemic, Chatham House notes.
  • In the 2019 general election, the 38-year-old ultranationalist former soccer commentator won the only parliamentary seat of his newly formed party, Chega, which translates as "enough."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on Ventura and on the COVID-19 record.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

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