Despite the pandemic’s escalation, the elections are really to hold on 24 January. The seven candidates for President of the Republic insisted yesterday on clarification and security conditions, so that the Portuguese feel involved and there is less abstention.
On the left, it is recognized that the campaign must exist, albeit in different ways. “Not campaigning is devaluing, it is not wanting to clarify,” shot Ana Gomes. João Ferreira argued that the “concern should be to discuss the country’s problems”. With Portugal entering a new confinement, Marisa Matias spoke of a “dramatic situation” and preferred to ask the Government that the new measures come “with the guarantee of family income and support to companies”.
On the right, the Government was blamed for not having properly prepared these elections. “We are at a point of no return,” shot liberal Tiago Mayan Gonçalves. André Ventura recalled that “a constitutional review cannot be made in a state of emergency”. Marcelo, when going live – from home, after the debate started, after being irritated by the change of position of the health authorities, which prevented him from going to Pateo da Galé – made it clear why there would be no postponement: after yesterday’s party hearings, he said, “there were none who defended the idea of a constitutional review”.
In an indirect reference to Marcelo, Vitorino Silva warned against abstention and said that he would be “ashamed to take office in a country where half did not go to the polls”.
The debate on RTP then moved on to the health issue, with candidates dividing themselves in relation to the role of private individuals in the National Health System (SNS). “It is necessary to invest more in the SNS in 2021 and in the following years”, positioned Marcelo. Marisa Matias also insisted that it is necessary to counter the “divestment” that public health has suffered in recent years. “The myth that the SNS is more expensive is just a myth,” he said. Ana Gomes stressed that “the problem is not one of management, it is a lack of resources”, accusing Marcelo of giving “the hand and the stage to the private”.
In the context of a pandemic, the communist candidate recognizes that “it is not and has never been at issue to turn to private entities”. André Ventura deplored the “ideological prejudice” in relation to the private – suggesting the private management of ADSE – while Tiago Mayan Gonçalves defended “freedom” of choice of the Portuguese about where they want to be treated. Vitorino Silva seemed to agree: “[Se estivesse a morrer] I was not going to choose between a private or public doctor. I wanted to be saved. ”
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