The President of the Assembly of the Republic considers that the vote in the presidential elections on Sunday is a form of "resistance against the virus" and says that a possible "suspension" of this electoral act because of the covid-19 would be "inadmissible".
These positions are conveyed by Ferro Rodrigues in a video message that he today addresses to Portuguese voters, making a vehement appeal for them to vote in the presidential elections.
“Voting is an indeclinable obligation that the current circumstances do not prevent, as we could see last Sunday, with the high participation of those who previously exercised their vote. Voting is one way of defending the Republic and democracy. Voting is also a form of resistance ”, he maintains.
A resistance, according to the President of the Assembly of the Republic, "against the virus and fear, and against those who want to take advantage of them".
Speaking “on behalf of the representative assembly of all Portuguese citizens, endowed with political, legislative and supervisory powers”, Ferro Rodrigues expresses at the beginning of his message that the President of the Republic “represents the Portuguese Republic, guarantees national independence, unity of the State and the regular functioning of democratic institutions ", being," inherently, supreme commander of the Armed Forces ".
Ferro Rodrigues then states that, in democracy, citizens are summoned, at regular intervals, to choose their representatives through voting, thereby deriving their legitimacy.
“Voting is a right, but it is also a civic duty, based on active and responsible citizenship, and whose expression unites us as a national community, regardless of whom we choose to vote for”, he observes, before addressing the issue of the current complex epidemiological situation of Portugal.
“We are currently facing a pandemic, which has proved to be devastating at various levels, and we are under a state of emergency that imposes a civic duty of withdrawal”, he points out.
The President of the Assembly of the Republic refers that, in the current conjuncture of health crisis, "some voices suggested that the electoral act should therefore be postponed, which is not possible under constitutional terms".
“Nor can this circumstance be changed, since we are confronted, from the outset, with the constitutional prohibition of practicing acts of constitutional review in the presence of a state of emergency. And postpone for when? ”, He also asks.
According to the former PS general secretary, “in view of the evolution of the pandemic, this postponement would have to be for an indefinite date, certainly distant, which is not understandable, nor even admissible in democracy”,
On the other hand, according to Ferro Rodrigues, if the suspension of the full functioning of the Assembly of the Republic as a sovereign body was never admitted, “much less” the suspension of any electoral acts could be admitted.
“As President of the Assembly of the Republic, and on behalf of the Assembly, I call on Portuguese women and men to exercise their right to vote, respecting the current health rules,” he adds.