André Silva bids farewell to the leadership with advice for the future: “It is important that the PAN does not allow itself to be cornered on the left or on the right”

It was with the attack that André Silva began his farewell speech at the VIII PAN Congress. An attack on the bullfighting sector, which according to the outgoing spokesman, has in recent years added up to “defeat after defeat”, thanks to the PAN. “We took bullfighting from guys,” said Perentório, to the applause of just over a hundred delegates. The motto was the fact that the magna meeting took place at the Hotel dos Templários in Tomar, in the district of Santarém, “the heart of bullfighting relics”.

“The bullfighting sector knows that it’s no use talking rudely or making threats, that in PAN we’re not afraid of them, that in PAN we take bullfighting. Six years ago they made fun of and felt untouchable, nowadays they make petitions, petitions and be amazed, activism actions in Campo Pequeno where they are even handcuffed to the gates. They cannot gather more than 20 people in a demonstration: 7 knights, 6 matadors, 3 banderilleros, 2 emboladores, Chicão and Ventura”, he joked.

Criticizing the fact that bullfights are considered a “cultural heritage”, André Silva compared the sector to slavery, the Inquisition or whaling. “Bullfighting is missed in Portuguese culture like an accordion at a funeral,” he stressed.

On balance, the spokesman considered that the Environment is no longer a “footnote” in electoral programs, referring indirectly to the Greens (PEV), and that it was thanks to the party that issues such as the point of no- climate return or the decarbonization of the economy began to be debated. “We have emphasized that the serious context of health crisis cannot serve as an excuse to fight the fight in our lives. The environmental crisis and the climate emergency that we are experiencing must be faced as the challenge of our civilization, the one that will dictate our very survival as a species. And, therefore, in the absence of courageous public policies on the part of the Ministry of the Environment, and because the PAN does not give in to vested interests, we managed to implement a carbon tax on aviation that finances the railway, we determined the end of use of palm oil in the production of biofuels, and the non-professional sale of glyphosate was banned,” he stressed.

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Strengthening transparency and fighting corruption

André Silva also came out in defense of the PAN’s parliamentary work in the last six years in defense of transparency and the fight against corruption. And he gave as an example the proposals on Freemasonry and the incompatibility of exercising the office of deputy with functions in sporting entities. “Due to the determination and dismay of the PAN, Parliament and civil society are debating today, without filters, whether it is ethical to see deputies exercising functions in the governing bodies of football clubs or whether in the 21st century it makes sense for a politician to continue not to declare the its affiliation with organizations such as Freemasonry, despite being well demonstrated that the strong bonds of solidarity established in these organizations not only make exemption from public office a dead letter, but also bring an institutionalized cronyism that undermines the democratic game,” he said.

The transparency portal on European funds, stressed the still leader of the PAN, was also due to the party’s “obstinacy”, as well as the reinforcement of means in the prevention and fight against corruption and economic-financial crime. In between, there were criticisms of the Government, the PSD and the left. “In the face of an apathetic PSD and a collaborationist left, it was the PAN who exposed the lack of ethics and the risks that were associated with Centeno’s direct jump to Banco de Portugal, it was the PAN who set foot on the revolving door that existed between commercial banking and the Board of Directors of Banco de Portugal – and which has cost the country so much in recent years –, managing to enshrine, for the first time in law, a period of disgust that prevents these direct leaps of dubious ethics,” he added.

André Silva also guaranteed that the party will continue along this path under the new leadership, stressing that soon will be approved the regulation of lobbying activity, the criminalization of the unjustified enrichment of ex-politicians or legislation to protect whistleblowers.

“Where are the voices that said we only cared about animals?” asked André Silva, insisting that the PAN has a holistic view of politics and bets on various sectors. “They are silenced because our work speaks louder,” he replied. Considering that the PAN assumes itself as the only party in Portugal “without ideological corsets” or “political bosses”, André Silva listed several areas to which the party has contributed. “If today we live in a Portugal that is a little less paternalistic, if today equality in terms of parenthood is consolidated in the law, it is also due to the commitment of the PAN, which will continue to be an openly feminist party and proudly promoter of the rights of lesbian and gay people , bisexual, trans and intersex,” he adds.

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PAN “must not renounce its autonomy”

Considering that the PAN is sometimes the only one capable of condemning with “the same vehemence” human rights violations, whether by the Government on agricultural workers in Odemira, “whether they come from Bolsonaro’s attacks on indigenous peoples” or from “illegitimate occupation” of territory and aggression of the Palestinian people by Israel from Netanyahu, André Silva left advice for the future. According to the outgoing spokesperson, the party must continue to assume itself as independent and, at the same time, maintain the posture of dialogue with the Government.

“It is important that the PAN maintain an attitude that, being constructive, does not allow itself to be cornered to the left or to the right, and does not renounce its autonomy to please would-be political bosses. It is important that the PAN, as a hinged party, continue to to be able to build bridges to achieve advances in its causes, that does not become a party of the system, that does not institutionalize itself, that is, that does not normalize the discourse, that does not corrupt its programmatic lines by sweetening them”, he warned.

Finally, he admitted that he made “mistakes” after last year was marked by controversies and departures (from MEP Francisco Guerreiro and deputy Cristina Rodrigues), but again justified his departure for personal reasons. “It’s time to change my life, not only to take full advantage of all that I’ve given up on a personal level in these years, but also because I’m a staunch supporter of the principle of term limitation and I believe that in a healthy democracy, people should not perpetuate themselves in political positions, giving opportunities to other people. Thank you for everything you gave me, thank you for the political and civic training that allowed me to achieve with this experience. Although in a different way, I will continue, with each and every one of you, on the front line in defense of what is my party, our party, the PAN.”, he guaranteed. Then he sat in the front row and continued to follow the work.


Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.

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