António Cunha is the new president of CCDR-N

The presidents of the CCDR were elected by the mayors, but the accusations of collusion between the PS and the PSD for the division of the 'cake' were not made to wait. The PCP, which has some municipal representation, remained out of the process.

Today the new president and vice-presidents of the Northern Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-N) took office, in a ceremony that took place in Coimbra, where all the presidencies of the remaining coordinating structures of the country were installed.

António Cunha, elected last October 13 - in an electoral act that was the target of much criticism - is, in addition to assuming the presidency of CCDR-N, the new manager of the NORTE 2020 Operational Program. He replaces Fernando Freire de Sousa, economist and ex-secretary of state linked to the PS, who chaired that structure since June 2016.

With a degree in Production Engineering and a PhD in Science and Polymer Engineering, the new president took on the role of dean of the University of Minho between 2009 and 2017 and also held the posts of full professor at the Polymer Engineering Department (since 2003), researcher at IPC - Institute of Polymers and Composites, President of the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities (2014 to 2017), President of CoLab in Digital Transformation (2018 to 2020). He was also an administrator at CEIIA - Center for Engineering and Development (between 2005-2009 and 2018-2020).

The new vice-president, Beraldino Pinto, has a degree in Civil Engineering, having served as mayor of Macedo de Cavaleiros (between 2002 and 2013), president of the Intermunicipal Community of Trás-os-Montes, and president of the board of directors of the Association of Municipalities of Terra Quente Transmontana, he was also a non-executive director at the company Águas de Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro and president of the Board of the Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark Association.

Célia Ramos is renamed Vice-President of CCDR-N, a position she has held since December 2019, after having joined the XXI Government (the previous one in office), as Secretary of State for Spatial Planning and Nature Conservation. She was also project manager for the Mission Structure for the Demarcated Douro Region, between 2012 and 2014. She has been a member of CCDR-N since 1984, having been director of Spatial Planning services (from 2006 to 2012) and head of division of the Spatial Planning (between 2001 and 2006).

The choice of the presidents of the CCDR was the responsibility of a global electoral college that includes around 10.600 mayors - but the truth is that the choices were previously agreed between the PS and PSD directorates.

The PCP, although having some autarchic weight (24 mayors), did not want to participate in what it called the central block of interests and, therefore, evidence of the “false democratization”, which highlights the “convergence that has been observed between PS and PSD ”. For the PCP, this centrist 'broth' is evidence that the Government, associated with the PSD, will “continue to fail to comply with regionalization and keep regional development policies in the hands” of the central state.

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