The candidates for the Presidency of the Republic accentuated this Monday the differences between them, in a true all or nothing, that marked the last presidential debate before the elections (this time on the radio). O face to face was marked by the absence of André Ventura, but Chega's leader and the non-compliance with his campaign's health rules, in full general confinement, were invoked several times in the debate.
The state of emergency and the restrictive measures enacted by the Government were the opening theme of the debate. The candidate supported by the Liberal Initiative, Tiago Mayan Gonçalves, started by criticizing the “exceptions” to confinement, saying that “nobody notices” and that the country is “at a point of apparent rupture”.
Vitorino Silva, leader of the RIR, criticized his opponents for being campaigning on the street and defended that "they should go down to earth". For “Tino de Rans”, “there should be no campaign” on the streets and, as it has been doing, this should be done at home, through Zoom. João Ferreira, supported by the PCP, pointed out that “there are a lot of people working every day” who continue to work during the new confinement and that it is necessary to reinforce the SNS and support for workers.
Former diplomat Ana Gomes accused the private sector of not “responding to government appeals” to help treat Covid patients and again appealed to civil law enforcement, while MEP blockist Marisa Matias pointed out that the country had “since the beginning a mismatch between what were the sacrifices asked of the Portuguese and the communication of support so that people could fulfill these sacrifices ”.
The blocker also pointed the finger at André Ventura, saying that he was “absent” from the debate, for “not wanting to justify events without complying with DGS rules”, as it happened this Sunday in Braga, where it gathered more than 170 people in full confinement of the country.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed that "the capacity of private hospitals is also close to the limit", contradicting the idea that they have "a very large capacity" that advises their immediate civil requisition. Recalling that agreements have been signed for transferring patients to private hospitals, particularly in Greater Porto, he also highlighted the Government's responsibilities, saying that “there was a non-preview of the third wave” and a lack of “notion that so many would be needed private and social resources ”in responding to the pandemic.
Candidate unite in criticism of Marcelo…
In a right message to the still President of the Republic, Tiago Mayan says that “what should have been done since March was a more interventionist President”. “When we heard the current president say that there was no problem in the homes so far, I remind him of what happened in Reguengos de Monsaraz,” he said, further stressing that “there are health problems Covid and there are problems since before the pandemic problems of non-Covid health ”.
Stressing that “politicians do not work miracles”, Vitorino Silva drew attention to the fact that, at times, they “get ahead of science”. João Ferreira highlighted the lack of response from Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to boost the national market and called for this boost to be made to make the Portuguese economy recover from the crisis in which it is plunged.
Ana Gomes considered that the President of the Republic should have a more active role in the mobilization of the Armed Forces to support the response of the health system in the homes and underlined that the problem of homes has been “a neglect for several years” and that, in this aspect, “ the President of the Republic can make a big difference ”, with the mobilization of health professionals and citizens for“ a necessary effort ”. "
“The President of the Republic has an important role. When we have unintelligible responses to the reality we are living in, it is up to the President of the Republic to make those responses more appropriate to the problems we have in the country, ”also said Marisa Matias, stressing that“ there is a majority in the Assembly of the Republic that allows convergences to respond to what needs to be fought in the country ”.
In response to criticism, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that "the Government has tried to strike a balance between the economic and social situation and the priority situation of life and health". On the day that the Council of Ministers “will be considering restricting more or less economic activities”, the candidate for reelection admitted that the need for balance “has led to less restrictive restrictive measures”.
As for the accusations of trivializing the state of emergency, Marcelo made clear the differences between the current situation and the initial phase of the pandemic, in March, April and May 2020. “Exports have increased and the number of workers who contribute every day to the economy also increases, ”he said, referring to a“ more complicated context in a more open society and economy ”.
… But there are differences between them
What they would do differently from Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa if they were elected was another of the topics highlighted during the debate, with the candidates striving once again to show what distinguishes them.
If Tiago Mayan once again accused Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of being guided by popularity, arguing that the current President of the Republic only acts "when scandals occur", João Ferreira focused on what he says was the "divestment in the Armed Forces" . The communist criticized Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for this lack of investment, and as President of the Republic he is the "supreme commander of the Armed Forces", whose workers receive "low wages" and added that these "are available 24 hours". Ana Gomes, on the other hand, considers that there are several topics on which the President “has to make a difference”, such as regionalization, combating hate speech or responding to climate demands.
The presidential candidate supported by PAN and Livre also stated that the President of the Republic must work “in loyal articulation with the Government and with the Assembly of the Republic” and make use of the “influence magistracy”. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on the other hand, argued that the pandemic will be a priority, because “the longer it lasts, the deeper and deeper the crisis”, emphasizing the importance of “maintaining a broad dialogue and consensus among specialists, parties with parliamentary seats, president of the Assembly of the Republic , Prime Minister and President of the Republic ”.
Also on regionalization, the candidates showed different positions, with the left aligned with the need to move forward in the process. The reelection candidate Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that regionalization in Portugal does not depend on the winner of the presidential elections, but on the holding of a referendum or a constitutional review that makes this referendum dispensable.
“The initiative to hold the referendum is the Government or the Parliament”, said Marcelo, after being accused of being a barrier to regionalization by the former socialist deputy Ana Gomes of “boycotting” this process, who stressed that the country's regionalization is a of the principles that is inscribed in the Constitution of the Republic.
The socialist's position was shared by João Ferreira, who guaranteed that it was necessary to “take the step of regionalization”, recalling that the Portuguese Communist Party presented a project in this sense “that was failed”, as well as by Marisa Matias, who considers that the Constitution of the Republic “is clear” in relation to the need to move forward with the country's regionalization. "It is necessary to move forward with regionalization because a more decentralized power better serves people's needs", he argues. For the blockade leader, regionalization would make it possible to combat regional disparities better and guarantee greater cohesion in the country. And he recalls that the lead to 1998 regionalization is not “irreversible”.
Tiago Mayan, who assumes himself as a “regionalist”, on the other hand, defended that it is only when the discussion of the “powers that the Central State will have to start abdicating” progresses that regionalization can begin to advance.
Candidates don't forget André Ventura
Despite André Ventura's absence from the debate, the agreement between the PSD in the Azores and Chega was not left out, once again condemned by the candidates on the left. João Ferreira stated that if he were President of the Republic "he would do anything" to "prevent anti-democratic forces from growing", while Ana Gomes accused Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of having helped to "normalize" Chega. “We are talking about a danger, it was seen in other parts of the world. These forces cannot be normalized or trivialized, neither in the Azores nor in the Republic, where it is admitted to replicate and ministerial portfolios are already negotiated ”, he said. Marisa Matias, on the other hand, argued that “the problem in the Azores is that there was a huge rush to not do what was done in the Government of the Republic, where the most voted party was called, there was an attempt to form Government with that party and went to seek an alternative ”, he criticized. Vitorino Silva, on the other hand, considered that the example of the Azores shows that “here we pay here”, in reference to the contraption of Costa's first term.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa defended that the arrival of Chega to power "will happen more quickly if we become what is not the central pole of Portuguese political life". In an implicit criticism of presidential candidates like Ana Gomes and Marisa Matias, the current President of the Republic said that ideas "must be fought", considering the "so-called fulanization of those who are lateral want to be central in the political system".
Again saying that the President of the Republic can only demand written agreements to remove doubts about the constitutionality of the policies to be followed if Chega integrates a government solution in the future, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that the representative of the Republic in the autonomous region of the Azores “ did very well ”in demanding these documents.
Justice united the candidates in criticizing Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, namely in the slow application of the Justice Pact. Ana Gomes defended that it is necessary to give more means to the Justice to fight the economic and financial crimes and that the country cannot continue “with blocks to the Justice”, in which she affirms that “this was a matter in which we did not see anything on the part of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa ”. In the same vein, the candidate supported by the Liberal Initiative gave as an example the non-renewal of Joana Marques Vidal in the Attorney General's Office, the case of the European prosecutor and the public contraction to defend that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa should have had a different role in Justice , while João Ferreira highlighted the problems of access and investment in this area. For the communist candidate, the problems include “access to justice”, “precarious workers” and the means.
For her part, Marisa Matias says that “the pact for Justice has not left the paper” and that, together with the difficulties of access to Justice, which are faced by the poorest and the lack of working conditions of some professionals, “The slowness of Justice” is also “very pressing”. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa blamed the “political partners” for not applying the Pact of Justice, admitting that it is necessary to reinforce the available means for the investigation of economic crime, remembering to have the “ultra-majority position” that it is constitutional to advance to criminalize illicit enrichment .