Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, considered this Tuesday that Ana Gomes should not count on the support of the Socialist Party (PS) in the next presidential elections.
“If Ana Gomes is a good candidate? Yes, it enriches the democratic debate. If she is a good candidate to have the support of the Socialist Party? In my opinion, no”, began by defending the government in an interview this evening with TVI24.
Recalling that the PS will still take an official position after the National Commission meeting scheduled for next month, Santos Silva argued that socialist support for a candidate in this race to Belém must be defined in “four very simple criteria”.
First, the minister said, an assessment of the mandate of the current President. “The overwhelming assessment within the PS and Portuguese electorates is that this mandate was very positive and that this balance with the majority was very important. [de esquerda] in the Assembly of the Republic, Government and President of the Republic “, he maintained.
Later, the party should also reflect about what is “Rebelo de Sousa’s understanding” of a possible second term. “It innovated a lot in the first term – and well, in my opinion – and I hope it also innovates in the interpretation it makes of the second term,” he shot.
A third criterion concerns, once again, if Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is again a candidate for Belém, with “the understanding that he will have of projection of the President of the Republic as a guarantor of the democratic space and institutional life in Portugal “.
“There are those who want to take advantage of the presidential elections to give projection to conceptions undemocratic. We must not fight extremism with other extremisms, (…) I would like the fight against extremism to be based on the great arc of moderates, who understand the common sense of the Portuguese people “, he argued, without naming names.
As a last method of analysis, Santos Silva pointed out that it is necessary to take into account “a consonância of the PS with its own constituency “. “It is enough, in fact, to consult the surveys to understand what the PS’s orientation is,” he concluded.
This is not the first time that the government insinuates that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa fits the profile that a candidate supported by the PS must have. One of the moments when this inclination was clearer, occurred, in May this year, when António Costa expressed his desire to current President of the Republic re-apply to the post, on the sidelines of a visit to Autoeuropa. At the time, the statements by the head of the Government generated controversy and Santos Silva came out in defense of the prime minister and said that António Costa and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa “combine harmoniously”.
In the last presidential elections, the PS decided to give the militants freedom of vote, who split between Sampaio da Mist and Maria de Belém.
About four months before the next race to Belém, there are already eight pre-candidates for Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who will only announce his decision in November as for a re-application. They are deputy André Ventura (Chega), lawyer and founder of the Liberal Initiative Tiago Matam Gonçalves, the leader of the Democratic Republican Party (PDR), Bruno Fialho, MEP and director of BE Marisa Matias, the former deputy to the European Parliament and director of PS Ana Gomes, Vitorino Silva (better known as Tino de Rans), the former militant of the CDS Orlando Cruz and João Ferreira, from PCP.
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