The day after the Government announced that it was going to bring to the Assembly of the Republic a bill to make the Stayaway Covid application (and the use of an outdoor mask) mandatory, this Thursday the reactions of parties.
Not even the party that supports the Government, the Socialist Party, has a closed position on a theme that the other groups have shown to be unfavorable.
Presidential candidate Ana Gomes also reacted. On Twitter, the former PS MEP wrote this Thursday that “it is unconstitutional to make the StayAwayCovid app mandatory”, because “in addition to the violation of privacy in a country where CNPD [Comissão Nacional de Proteção de Dados] has no teeth, ineffectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, would be tantamount to enshrining discrimination against the poorest and most vulnerable elderly “.
PS without closed position
The parliamentary leader of the PS said on Thursday that the bench does not yet have a closed position on the mandatory use of the Stayaway Covid application and will request urgent hearings from experts in health, rights and freedoms and data protection.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting of the PS parliamentary group, Ana Catarina Mendes stressed that, given the increasing numbers of the pandemic, her bench “agrees with the mandatory use of masks when there are crowds on the public road”.
Regarding the mandatory nature proposed by the Government – and which will be debated in parliament next Friday – regarding the use of the application, the leader of the PS bench admitted “constitutionality doubts” and issues in other fields.
“The parliamentary group will engage in this debate and deliver this Thursday to the first committee a request that, as a matter of urgency, as early as Tuesday, public health specialists, experts in rights, freedoms and guarantees and protection be heard of data “, he said, considering that it would be “inappropriate” for parliament to decide without these hearings.
Asked if her bench does not have a closed position on this matter, she replied: “Of course not”.
Block votes against
The Left Block is in favor of mandatory use of the mask on public roads, but is opposed to the mandatory use of the Stayaway Covid application and admitted this Thursday to request the unconstitutionality of the law if it is approved.
Speaking to journalists in parliament, blockade deputy José Manuel Pureza stated that “no democratic state” has adopted the mandatory application of screening, until now used by citizens only on a “voluntary basis”.
“This Government proposal goes in the wrong direction and causes us a great deal of perplexity. There is no reason for us to give up fundamental principles in a situation like this”, said.
Moreover, continued the blockade deputy, the requirement is “difficult to apply”.
José Manuel Pureza questioned how the inspection will be and what consequences would the failure in a school have: “Would students or teachers be expelled from the classroom?”
PAN “frontally against”
The parliamentary leader of the PAN, Inês Sousa Real, considered this Thursday that the mandatory use of the StayAway Covid application is a “matter of dubious constitutionality”, so the party is “head on against” the measure.
“As for the application and installation on the mobile phone, it seems to us clearly not only a matter of dubious constitutionality, but this is not the way to fight covid-19”, said the deputy in statements to journalists at the Assembly of the Republic, in Lisbon.
The PAN warns that compelling citizens to use this application is contrary to “Community directives” and “discriminates against those people who may not even have access to a mobile phone or lack the digital literacy that allows them to know what the use of the application is. consciously, even for the sake of data privacy “.
Inês Sousa Real also pointed out that “the issue of traceability and inspection” also “raises serious doubts”.
“In relation to the application, we are directly against it, because, of course, there are issues of constitutionality that are not clarified and therefore it is starting the house on the roof, it is taking a step forward when we are not even able to become such an application is mandatory “, he stressed, indicating that he looks at the proposal “with many reservations”.
Even so, the parliamentary leader said that she was not “in a position to decide” the party’s vote as they are “very sensitive matters that need further analysis”.
In the view of the PAN, the use of the StayAway Covid application “must remain optional”, as the “invasion of each other’s privacy” may be at stake and there are “issues of privacy and data protection that conflict” .
Questioning whether there are technicians to work with the data, Inês Sousa Real argued that “to be collecting data only because it is”, is a measure that “is nothing more than controversial”.
Liberal Initiative says it is unconstitutional
The Liberal Initiative on Wednesday manifested itself completely against the mandatory use of mobile phone applications such as stayaway covid, guaranteeing that everything will be done so that it is declared unconstitutional if the Government’s proposed law imposes it.
In a note sent to the Lusa agency, the Liberal Initiative “demonstrates its total opposition to the Prime Minister’s intention to make it mandatory in various social and work contexts, which are practically all of daily life outside the home, to use the stayaway covid application on Portuguese mobile phones”.
“If the proposal reaches Parliament, the Liberal Initiative has the firm intention of, by all legal and parliamentary means, obtaining the declaration of the obvious unconstitutionality of this measure”, anticipates.
In the perspective of the sole deputy of the Liberal Initiative, João Cotrim Figueiredo, “any measure of imposition by the State of the use of an application on the Portuguese mobile phones is totally unconstitutional”.
“For the Liberal Initiative, installing similar applications or tools is only permissible if it is voluntary and the result of a free and informed decision by each person”, defends.
Greens have “legal doubts”
The Greens do not see “any problem” in the mandatory use of masks on the street, but they have “many legal doubts” about a mandatory application of screening for undermining citizens’ rights and freedoms.
Speaking to journalists in parliament, deputy of the Ecological Party “Os Verdes” (PEV) Mariana Silva said that the vote was not defined, but admitted that it is against this mandatory application, as the Government has proposed.
“We have many doubts about this system. The rights and freedoms of citizens are at stake here, knowing where we are”, exemplified.
Enough does not trust the app
The single deputy of Chega criticized this Thursday the mandatory use of a mask on the street and indicated that he does not trust the StayAway Covid application, announcing that he will vote against the Government’s draft law.
Speaking to journalists in the Assembly of the Republic, André Ventura announced the vote against the executive’s diploma that imposes the use of the mask and the application because he believes it will “make the situation worse”
“We do not trust this Government” because of the “last attitudes that it has had” and, “when we do not trust a Government, we cannot be asked to trust an application that the Government asks to install”, said the deputy.
Regarding the mandatory use of StayAway Covid, the president of Chega also refused to enter “in the discussion about whether it is constitutional or not,” claiming that “there have already been opinions from all kinds of different constitutionalists who have given their opinion”.
PSD says it is controversial
The leader of the PSD parliamentary group, Adão Silva, admitted today that the Government’s proposal for the mandatory use of the ‘StayAway Covid’ application is a “controversial” issue, referring later to a final position of the party.
On the sidelines of a meeting with businessmen in Fátima, in the municipality of Ourém, district of Santarém, Adão Silva told Lusa that this is a “matter that is involved in a controversy” and recalled that the National Commission for Data Protection “has already come to public to make some objections “.
“We are analyzing the problem from the various angles that it presents us, because it is a matter of great delicacy and great sensitivity, where various aspects are mixed. Therefore, we must be extremely careful in situations that are of this nature and seriousness. “