The most curious moment in the very warm debate between Vitorino Silva (Tino de Rans), from the RIR, and Tiago Mayan Gonçalves, from the Liberal Initiative, happened when Tino said that he was received at an audience in Belém on October 7, 2020. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa led an appeal for special presidential elections to be organized in a context of a pandemic that the RIR predicted would be very complex.
Asked by the moderator about what the President of the Republic replied, Tino said in an ironic tone “He said ‘haaa’, ‘hmmm'”. Outside, at the end of the audience, there was no journalist, Tino de Rans recalled, in a message to several targets – the unprepared politics for the elections in a particularly harsh pandemic context and the media that reported this unpreparedness.
The pandemic was the major topic of a debate and one of two in which there was disagreement between the candidates. Mayan, as so far, argued that the country “cannot handle new widespread confinement”, criticizing the Government’s measures and the inability of health authorities to track contagions. Tino was in favor of “for all at the same time” – in what would be a tougher confinement than that of March and April last year, in which several sectors remained active – because “the people cannot die”.
More than three quarters of the debate had already passed between Vitorino Silva (Tino de Rans), from the RIR party, and Tiago Mayan Gonçalves, from the Liberal Initiative, when there was another point of divergence that motivated some exchange of arguments: TAP. Tino accepts that the Government uses public money to save TAP, “symbol of Portugal”, and Mayan does not want “not one more euro” in the company.
From the pandemic, the debate evolved into views on the National Health Service and private individuals, a topic that consumed most of the conversation. Mayan defended, as usual, the view that places the private sector as an equally important piece in relation to the NHS for the provision of health care to the population. Tino said that he goes to the public, but that “he has nothing against the private”.
In the final stretch, Tino de Rans recalled that in the last presidential polls he gave 0.1% of the voting intentions and then the result was “three and such percent”, “150 and such a thousand votes”, “33 times more “- on the other side of the table, in an outburst, Mayan replied” this also gives me hope, then “. The last poll, carried out by Pitagórica and released this week by TVI, gives 0.4% of the voting intentions to Tino de Rans and 2.1% to Tiago Mayan.
In the end – after an unprecedented question about the Liberal Initiative’s alliance policy for municipalities in Porto, with Mayan responding by kicking into the corner – Tino de Rans pulled an object onto the table: a stapler. In December, the Constitutional Court gave Mayan’s candidacy two days to staple 1,500 voter certificates to application forms, in one of several signs of the anachronism of the process. “We know very well how hard it was to staple the signatures,” Tino said to Mayan in a tone of greeting.
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