April 25: André Ventura asks Ferro Rodrigues to cancel solemn session in parliament

Chega's sole deputy, André Ventura, wrote this Saturday to the president of the parliament, asking Ferro Rodrigues that, in conjunction with the President of the Republic, cancel the solemn commemorative session of the 25th of April.

Mário Cruz / Lusa

In the letter, to which Lusa had access, Ventura affirms that the decision to keep the celebrations in the Assembly of the Republic "is generating an enormous feeling of revolt and indignation in the Portuguese people", due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic of covid-19, which has already caused 687 deaths in Portugal.

“In this sense, I appeal to you, Excellency, in conjunction with the President of the Republic, to cancel the solemn celebrations of the 25th of April. It is the entire parliamentary institution that, in the eyes of the Portuguese, is at stake ”, asks the deputy.

Ventura admits that such a decision may seem "a setback" and perhaps even cause Ferro Rodrigues "a certain ideological suffering".

"But in the end, making the right decision will be a huge step forward in the name of our democracy and those who fought to achieve it," he said.

In the letter, the deputy of Chega points out that it was the Assembly of the Republic that approved the three periods of state of emergency with “a set of particularly severe and uncomfortable restrictions” on the daily life of the Portuguese.

"How can we now come together for a celebration while the overwhelming majority of Portuguese remain confined to their homes?" He asks.

André Ventura classifies the 25th of April as a date of “reinforced and vital importance” for democracy, but which, he argues, “is no more relevant than the health of the Portuguese or their confidence in the political system”.

"And a celebration of this kind, in these circumstances, can shake both vectors irreparably," he warns, considering that maintaining the celebration in times of emergency "means creating an insurmountable gap between elected and voters".

Chega's sole deputy acknowledges that he has already had public disagreements with the President of the Assembly of the Republic as “political opponents”, but considers that both are on the same side in this matter: “We are interested in saving the credibility of politicians, the political system and the parliamentary institution ”.

The Assembly of the Republic decided on Wednesday to hold the solemn session of the 25th of April in the parliament, although with a third of the deputies (77 of the 230 parliamentarians) and less invited, with the office of the president of the parliament, Ferro Rodrigues, estimating that about 130 people are present, compared to 700 last year.

The decision of the leaders' conference was supported by most parties: PS, PSD, BE, PCP and Greens. The PAN defended the use of videoconferencing, the Liberal Initiative only one deputy per party, while the CDS-PP - which proposed a message from the President of the Republic to the country - and Chega were against it.

Today, the leader of the CDS-PP, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, announced that he will not go to the solemn session of the 25th of April in parliament because he considers it “a bad example for the Portuguese”.

However, at the beginning of the afternoon more than 30.000 people had signed an online petition asking for the “immediate cancellation” of the solemn session of commemoration of the 25th of April in the Assembly of the Republic, addressed to the President of the Republic, the President of the Assembly of the Republic and the Prime Minister, António Costa.

Portugal registers 687 deaths associated with covid-19 in 19.685 confirmed cases of infection, according to the daily bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) on the pandemic.

In relation to the previous day, there are 30 more deaths (+ 4,6%) and 663 more cases of infection (+ 3,5%).

Of the infected people, 1.253 are hospitalized, of which 228 are in intensive care units, and 610 have been cured.

The presidential decree that extends the state of emergency that began on March 02 until May 19 provides for the possibility of a “gradual, phased or alternate opening of services, companies or commercial establishments”.

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