Portugal to get new head of state in presidential election slated for Jan. 24

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Portugal will elect a new president on Jan. 24, with the current head of state unable to stand again after serving two consecutive five-year terms.

The office of President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who was first elected in 2006, announced Thursday he had signed a decree setting the date.

The president is mostly a figurehead with no executive power, though the role grants strong influence as well as the final decision on who becomes prime minister after a general election. More than a dozen candidates, some supported by the country's main political parties and others standing as independents, have so far announced they will run.

The ballot could go to a second round if no candidate collects more than 50 percent in the first vote.