Marques Mendes: “We are at the end of a political cycle”

António Costa runs the risk of not ending his mandate if he does not focus on what is most important. The week's two refurbishments went wrong for the prime minister.

Social-Democratic commentator Luís Marques Mendes said that the week of the Prime Minister “went wrong”, since he was on the honor committee of Luís Filipe Vieira, president of Benfica, who re-applied for a new term and from where he left - what was considered a first remodeling. Still, he said, António Costa was lucky, since he was removed from the list before, last Friday, Luís Filipe Vieira was involved in yet another crime.

“While I was in [political] functions, I was never part of any club,” said Marques Mendes, who also spoke of a second remodeling: that of the secretaries of state. “It was already announced”, he said, to affirm that “it is another mistake by António Costa, and a bad sign. There are five that leave. Because? Those who enter are five ex-advisers or heads of cabinet ”, which means that the Government is starting to“ run out ”.

One of the secretaries of state who left, Alberto Souto Miranda, recalled, "he goes to the administrator of Banco de Fomento, which is an example of clientelism", he said. "A bank is not a general management, the idea remains that the bank is not independent," he said. Marques Mendes said that “I am very surprised” with the fact that António Costa is accumulating so many errors: “the reason is that there are signs that we are at the beginning of the end of a political cycle”. “These are the first signs”, he said - “If António Costa does not change, this becomes irreversible, and he runs the risk of not ending his term”, he said.

“It does not seem to me at all” that António Costa “will change the situation”, not least because he faces the Portuguese presidency of the European Union - “that gives wear and tear” on the domestic front - and the need to find support to pass the budgets up to the end of term. "In a year, it will be difficult to pass the Budget," he said.

Marques Mendes recalled that the polls affirm that the PS is on a downward curve - which will be bad for the socialists “in a year”, in the municipalities. The principle error was the creation of a weak government.

As for Operation Lex - where three judges accused of corruption are implicated - "it is a terrible image for Justice". But “there is also a positive sign: having this investigation, there was courage and independence”. "They are not there to cover each other up," said Marques Mendes.

As for the convention of Chega de André Ventura, she was “overshadowed” by the problems of the election of the list to the party leadership, which only the third party was accepted by the participants. "But as that is a one-person project ..."

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