At the congress on the right, Rio aligned itself to the center and the echo of Passos Coelho was heard

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Manuel de Almeida / Lusa

Former Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (D) greets PSD leader Rui Rio on the last day of the 3rd MEL Convention – Europe and Freedom Movement.

Despite the criticism, Rui Rio realigned the PSD to the center and did not close the door to understandings with the PS. Meanwhile, there is a feeling that the right is waiting for Pedro Passos Coelho.

The right-wing parties met again this Wednesday for the Congress of the Europe and Freedom Movement (MEL). In one of the most anticipated moments of the day, the president of the PSD, Rui Rio, took the stage. His name came up a lot in the last two days, with party leaders accusing him of fleeing from the right to the center.

Rio did not deny it. On the contrary, he received criticism with open arms and explained that he was a mere guest at MEL: “If this were a rights congress I would probably have been stopped, because the PSD is not a right-wing party. It is a center party ”.

The truth is that he said little about who fired in his direction, from Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos to João Cotrim Figueiredo and André Ventura. “The point is that before there was only the CDS to the right of the PSD and now there are more parties”, stressed Rui Rio.

As the weekly Expresso writes, the social democrat did not rule out bridges or understandings with António Costa. As he said, it is at the center that votes are won.

“The PS does not want to make any reforms, does not want to contradict the discourse of the politically correct, because the politically correct is the weapon of installed interests, the weapon of immobility, ”said Rio.

The opposition leader also says that if the PS does not want to reform the system and is on the side of the installed interests, then it will be penalized at the polls.

“It is obviously very difficult, but being aware of what the country needs, the fight is not to turn your back. António Costa does not take this opportunity to open new horizons for the country. But it is our obligation to do everything to change. And who doesn’t want to change is that you should be penalized at the polls for that ”, he explained.

In the 45 minutes of his speech, he ignored almost all criticism from the rest of the right-wing party leaders. Rio was not there to haggle – after all, he was a guest in this house on the right that is not his.

Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos was one of the most critical voices for Rui Rio. is to want to be everything and not be anything ”, shot the leader of the CDS-PP. André Ventura was dissatisfied with the opposition that the ‘orange’ made to the Government. In turn, João Cotrim Figueiredo, of the Liberal Initiative, accused Rio of “giving the speech of Bloco de Esquerda and PCP”.

The former Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho he was at MEL and sat side by side with Rui Rio. In the end, Passos Coelho refused to do “political analysis” and said he was not there as an “actor”.

The truth is that the rest of the right seems to be waiting for Pedro Passos Coelho, believing he is the only one who at this moment would be able to return the right to power.

Ventura said that “Chega was born to rule” and that “it is time to present the Portuguese with a solution to govern, regardless of whether the PSD leader is Rui Rio or another”.

“Today we are talking about convergence simply because Pedro Passos Coelho is no longer the leader of the PSD. I have no doubt that Rui Rio would be much better prime minister than António Costa, the truth is that it has no popular support, is not understood as a real alternative. And in democracy without winning elections, it is not possible to change the direction of the country ”, summarized Miguel Pinto Luz, vice-mayor of the Cascais Chamber, cited by the Observer.

The three days of the congress served to prove that the right is fractured and Rio is not seen as a viable option to put the pieces together. About that, awaits a possible return of Pedro Passos Coelho at the political dinner.

Daniel Costa Daniel Costa, ZAP //