The question of whether or not to postpone presidential elections was the first one that presidential candidates responded to in the debate on seven, on RTP. André Ventura opened the debate accusing the Government: “It did not properly prepare the electoral act”, he maintained, recalling that in a state of emergency it is not allowed to carry out the necessary constitutional review.
Instead of the government, Ana Gomes threw Marcelo barbs. The candidate would not object to the postponement of the elections, which “should be considered” in light of the new data on the growth of covid-19 cases. After all, “not campaigning is to devalue, and not wanting to appear. The electoral act is not a coronation”, he stressed, without Marcelo having even appeared in the plasma connected to his home in Cascais.
If Ana Gomes warned of the Infarmed meeting and the exponential evolution of the pandemic, João Ferreira pointed out that “it is possible to campaign with health protection rules”. “It was important, on the part of the authorities and the Government, to ensure that everything is being done, from now on, so that people can go to vote. They should not contribute to a sense of alarmism,” he said.
Marcelo placed the burden on the side of the parties, since “none defended the idea of constitutional revision” to postpone the elections, during the telephone hearings this Tuesday. “None took the initiative.” Despite the pandemic, the candidate calls for a vote: “The Portuguese have to realize that on this day of uncertainty what matters is that they vote and do not miss the opportunity to participate in this fundamental moment.”
The criticisms of the Government returned with Tiago Mayan, who accused the Costa executive of “unpreparedness” that “brought us to a point of no return”, and now there are five voters already voting. Solutions? They would undergo a timely constitutional review that would open up the possibility of voting by correspondence, staggering and expanding voting days, and not forcing emigrants to go to consulates.
More understanding was Marisa Matias. “In the context of a pandemic, humility does not hurt us. We do not know everything. People are having their lives very affected every day, with enormous difficulties. We did not think that the pandemic would affect people’s lives and that the campaign would run as if nothing happened. The campaign must be carried out “, he maintained, praising the high number of registrations for early voting.
Tino de Rans predicted everything in September. “I wanted to get here today and have no reason,” he said, after giving hugs to each of the candidates, whom he called by his first name. “On September 7, he said, ‘Friends, make it clear that in January there may be 10,000 cases a day, 100 dead’. I was a candidate that no one took seriously,” he continued. The work experience showed him that, if in August they are “35ºC in the sun”, in January “I know well that we are with negative degrees”. “The politicians from January to December are at 20ºC”, thanks to the air conditioning.
On the issue of the relationship with the government and stability, Vitorino Silva was ironic about the relationship between President of the Republic (PR) and Prime Minister: “Between Marcelo and Costa, there is no longer where one starts and the other ends.”
Tiago Mayan, on the other hand, pointed out that the PR is not responsible for ensuring stability – the Constitution refers to the term only “three times” and never about the President – but rather the “regular functioning of the institutions” Stability is not always good: “If stability is stagnation, I don’t want that stability. ” And he recalled that Marcelo should have demanded written agreements from the partners of gerigonça 2, but he gave up doing so. If he had done so, “we would not have OE negotiations to satisfy clientele of the contraption partners”.
Marisa Matias, a candidate with the support of BE, was less critical, admitting that the relationship between the government and the President “was correct with some exceptions”, which highlighted Marcelo’s meeting with PSP director. He also considered that the partnership between Costa and Marcelo “generated blockages in the management of problems”, in areas such as health, the relationship with banking and the fight against precariousness.
Vitorino Silva was ironic again: “If I were President and went to Autoeuropa, I would not give confidence to the Prime Minister to launch my candidacy.” And he doubts the balance in the relationship: “Sometimes we didn’t know who had the majority share.” In short, “they rocked each other.”
André Ventura quoted a PSD leader from Beja to say that Marcelo “was a disappointment” and noted that in this election there is no candidate with PS support, because in fact “that man in that chamber has the support of PS” – pointing to the screen where Marcelo was seen. And he launched concrete criticisms: having allowed the dismissal of the Attorney General and the President of the Court of Auditors (precisely when we are going to “receive a bazooka from millions”), having praised the “legacy of Mário Centeno” and António Costa, and having allowed a law authorizing expropriations, “a kind of refurbished PREC”. It also focused on criticisms of the government, such as “support that took a long time to reach companies” and “companies that close because the State does not pay them”. And if all this is allowed, he accused, it is because “António Costa does what he does because he knows that PR will not let him down.”
For Ana Gomes, whoever is in Belém must be a “guarantor of stability, but not that of the central bloc of interests, he is not the king of Spain”. Marcelo is to blame for not encouraging a contraption 2 “with stable conditions”, because it does not stop “normalization of the extreme right” and if “he was reelected, surely the second term would be very different, he would work to bring back your right “.
Marcelo was not particularly affected by the criticisms, on the contrary. He started by remembering that the debate was “very interesting”, because it was “the first time that a President who is running again participates in a debate with everyone”. As for the criticisms, “both wanted a PR more aligned to the right or left”, but the President’s role is “integration, stability is linked to compromise”. That’s what he promised in 2016, and, he said, “that’s what I did”. “The President does not create crises where there are already crises or voids where there is no alternative.”
But he was more pessimistic about the immediate future: he remembered the successive crises in banking, that of fires, the new inorganic movements, and ended up predicting that, after the pandemic, this “new crisis that we are going through will last for some years “.
Marisa Matias said that she wanted a country “that is proud of those who work here, that is proud of struggles, of social and economic justice and that responds to intergenerational challenges”.
João Ferreira wants “hope, work with rights, equality between men and women, opportunities for young people, culture”.
Tiago Mayan wants the country to reflect the “ten million visions, desires, ambitions, of the Portuguese who live here”.
For Marcelo, “the fundametal is that the Portuguese like Portugal even more and being Portuguese”.
Ana Gomes wants a country “that has justice and where there is social justice, to fight inequalities” and that is “really from Europe”.
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