The presidential candidate supported by the Communist Party and the socialist candidate, but independent, debated, this Tuesday night, in another round of televised debates in the scope of the Presidential elections.
Transmitted by RTP, it was up to journalist Carlos Daniel to moderate this debate, having started by asking the candidate Ana Gomes whether it would be available for left-wing convergence, even before January 24, election day.
The former socialist MEP proved to be “available” for this situation, not least because, she considered, “the convergence is always important and we have seen how it has made a difference in recent years for the benefit of the Portuguese people ”and, above all,“ when democracy is at stake and under attack ”.
The candidate for Belém made it clear that the person in front of her was not her opponent. “My opponent is Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa”, he stated.
João Ferreira, in turn, considered that his candidacy is also “a space of convergence”, and this is seen by the support he has received “from different quarters and people from other parties”, but his response was more ambiguous in relation to convergence of pre-electoral lefts.
The communist candidate argued that he does not find in others what his candidacy brings. “This application has principles and values that are irreplaceable and that I don’t find in another application, such as the respect for the Constitution.”
The former diplomat could not “agree more with these benchmarks of our Constitution” and said that she did not come “to play in the elections, nor to mark the territory”.
Ana Gomes confident in a second round
“I always said that the PS should have a candidate in your area. The PS has a contribution from democratic socialism that Portuguese democracy lacks. And that is why, in the absence of a candidate, I decided to move forward. I have PAN and Livre with me, which gives me a lot of honor and comfort. And I have felt very supported by elements of my party. My ambition is federate like-minded people“He declared.
Ana Gomes is confident in a second round of elections and, if that happens, “anything is possible, especially if there is a progressive convergence”. The lawyer said she did not care about polls, because she believes that “there are many people who did not vote in the past, namely young people, who will vote” this time.
“This is the time to claim this country. Young people have to get involved, this country is theirs, as it is for the elderly. But if young people do not take control of this country, we are just the crooked strain ”, he said.
When assessing the mandate of the current President of the Republic, the socialist considered that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was not, in many aspects, “the President we needed”, namely in labor matters.
“It was necessary more than ever to value work and create quality, decent, well-paid jobs. (…) A political stability is important, especially when there is a Government that is trying to correct the worst legacy of the past, namely the time of the troika and a Government more troikist than the troika itself. Ma, on the other hand, is not in itself what counts for a President. Much more is expected, ”he said.
Ana Gomes was supported by one of her main flags, having stressed that the “President’s magistracy of influence must be exercised, from the outset, in Justice”, being responsible for “ensuring that the means for justice can work“.
The lawyer also highlighted the case of “disauthorization of the Minister of Internal Administration by the director of the PSP, in the Palace of Belém, having invoked a conversation with the President to announce a reform that was obviously beyond his competence”. “It was something that was tolerated not only by the Government, but also by the President.”
Alongside the communist candidate, the former MEP stressed that she also does not like the idea of being “Trivialize the state of emergency”, saying that, if he were President, “he would have asked the Assembly of the Republic for a health protection law”.
João Ferreira criticizes Marcelo’s mandate
The MEP, in turn, was much more critical of Marcelo’s performance, declaring that, at various times, he “departed from the commitment to swear to comply and enforce the Constitution“.
“It would not have enacted changes to labor legislation approved by the Assembly by a majority that completely disorganized the many workers’ lives and left young people facing a situation of greater vulnerability ”, he began.
The communist said that he also would not have vetoed “a law that allowed certain tenants to exercise the right of first refusal over houses that belonged to a financial group”, referring to the case with the Fidelidade group, nor “it would have created difficulties that in the Areas Metropolitanas de Lisboa and Porto if the public character of public transport was definitively enshrined ”.
João Ferreira also said that “I would not have vetoed the support that the Assembly of the Republic got approve for managing partners, who have every right to it, as they have made discounts for many years for Social Security ”.
Convergence ended on European issues
Asked by Carlos Daniel how Portugal would survive, in this moment of crisis, if it were outside the European Union, the candidate supported by the PCP made it clear that he never defended this scenario.
“I do not advocate leaving the European Union, I defend that the country does not have to accept, as it has happened, decisions that are clearly harmful to its interest ”, he declared.
“Faced with an imposition, like the one that came from Brussels, of wanting to transform a Caixa Geral de Depósitos into a kind of ‘box’, I think the President of the Republic has to have a say. Or when guidelines come from the EU that intend to make TAP a subsidiary of a German flag company, I think the President of the Republic has to have a say, ”he stressed.
It was then that the clear differences between the two began. Ana Gomes declared herself “Deeply Europeanist” and she is “even more convinced today that without Europe we cannot be saved”.
“There is a synergy, a work of sharing sovereignty that is not a loss of sovereignty, it is reinforced sovereignty, which is absolutely indispensable for regulation at the global level”, said the socialist, giving as a concrete example the question of tax and taxes.
“Thanks to the euro, which João Ferreira wants to leave, we now have access to the Recovery and Resilience Plan for help us out of this very serious crisis. We will have mutualization of the debt, which will have to be paid with European taxes. João Ferreira has been in the European Parliament voting against proposals such as, for example, a tax on large digital multinationals and also on polluting companies, which would finance this mutualization of debt, ”he criticized.
But Ana Gomes went further and drew the cards she had up her sleeve. “João Ferreira abstained in the report on the LuxLeaks scandal. He abstained and voted against in the last report on tax issues. (…) The proposal to publish country-by-country reports, for multinationals to say what they have to pay in taxes in each country. You voted against it, O João ”.
The communist replied. “What I criticize is the acceptance of forms of integration that place countries standing in inequality at the time of decision. I do not accept that it is Germany that determines fundamental aspects of our economic policy. I do not accept that our State Budget, which before being discussed and approved in our Assembly, has to go to the European stamp.
On Tuesday night, there was also a face-to-face meeting between Chega’s candidate, André Ventura, and the candidate supported by the Liberal Initiative, Tiago Mayan Gonçalves, and the debate between the candidate supported by the Left Block, Marisa Matias, and the RIR candidate, Vitorino Silva.
This Wednesday, the debates are scheduled between Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and André Ventura (SIC, at 9:00 pm), between João Ferreira and Tiago Mayan Gonçalves (TVI24, at 10:00 pm) and between Vitorino Silva and Ana Gomes (RTP3, at 10:45 pm) .