Controversy in the CDS parliamentary group (with pirouettes and ear-pulling)

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José Sena Goulão / Lusa

The president of the CDS-PP, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos

The CDS-PP has a deputy vacancy to fill in the Assembly of the Republic (AR), after the departure of Ana Rita Bessa. Isabel Galriça Neto and Sebastião Bugalho have already refused the job and Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, leader of the party, complains that he only found out through the media.

The controversy in the Parliamentary Group of the CDS is installed after the departure of Ana Rita Bessa. The deputy left the Assembly of the Republic (AR) criticizing the leadership of Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos and created a “hole” that is being difficult to fill.

Isabel Galriça Neto she was supposed to occupy the place, due to her position in the lists of the last legislatives, but after having been elected as president of the Municipal Assembly of Lisbon, in the winning candidacy of Carlos Moedas, she announced that she would not sit in the national Parliament.

However, the leader of the CDS parliamentary group, Telmo Correia, announced that Ana Rita Bessa’s place would be taken by Sebastião Bugalho, former journalist and another critic of Rodrigues dos Santos.

But the TVI commentator, who was a personal choice of Assumption Crests, the former leader of the CDS, also turned down the deputy seat.

Now, Rodrigues dos Santos regrets, in an interview with Expresso, that he only learned of the decision of Bugalho and Ana Rita Bessa through the media, leaving a ear-pulling to Telmo Correia.

The “pirouette of Sebastião Bugalho” and the shadow of Crests

“I should have known through the formal and proper channels within the CDS. Telmo Correia, Sebastião Bugalho, someone should have told me“, criticizes Rodrigues dos Santos in an interview with Expresso.

The CDS leader says, however, that maintains “the political trust in Telmo Correia”.

More critical is Sebastião Bugalho, admitting that he preferred his place on the lists to have been filled by Francisco Camacho, the vice president of the Popular Youth (JP).

“I was very surprised with the initial acceptance of Sebastião Bugalho, because after everything he said about the party, after systematically mistreat the party and the leadership, thought he could be a deputy. Nobody in their right mind would do it, unless his intention was to continue this offensive against the party from the parliamentary bench”, notes Rodrigues dos Santos in Expresso.

“This Sebastião Bugalho’s pirouette is a ridiculous situation and disgraceful for a founding party of democracy with only five deputies. The responsibility lies with the president of the district of Lisbon and the president who made these lists”, points out the CDS leader in a reference to Assunção Cristas.

“The possible relationship” with the parliamentary group

In this interview, Rodrigues dos Santos also highlights the distance he maintains with the parliamentary group of the party he leads.

“I heard from the media that Sebastião Bugalho had accepted the job and I learned from the media that he didn’t. I am the president of the party and had no one to tell me that it was Sebastião Bugalho who was going to replace Ana Rita Bessa. I’m president of a party and I didn’t have any communication to say who would replace Ana Rita Bessa”, assumes the CDS leader.

Rodrigues dos Santos acknowledges that the group “is from Assunção Cristas” and, therefore, he emphasizes that he maintains with the CDS deputies “the possible relationship”.

“It cannot be demanded that I work with a parliamentary group that was not chosen by me as I would work with a parliamentary group of my choice”, he justifies.

“We are going to articulate in structuring matters”, but “the parliamentary group enjoys some autonomy and freedom”, he adds, reinforcing, however, that he trusts “in Telmo Correia’s leadership and in his common sense”.

“I have a garrote in the media”

“Not only am I not a deputy, but I have no one from my leadership in the parliamentary group”, says Rodrigues dos Santos.

The centrist leader assumes that he would like to occupy a position as deputy, but denies that he asked the Cecília Meireles to abdicate his seat in Parliament, not least because he “does a great job”, as he highlights.

“I have to settle for that”, he also refers to Expresso.

However, Rodrigues dos Santos tries to emphasize that the CDS loses strength for being the only party whose leader does not have a seat in Parliament.

“Another problem” with the CDS is that “who represents the party on televisions it is the internal opposition”, also emphasizes the leader of the popular groups.

I talk about garlic and they talk about boulders. I have achievements and they are on television and turn my party’s electoral successes into failures. I want to speak out and they are on TVs speaking in. I have a stick in the media”, says Rodrigues dos Santos.

Thus, “while I can’t put whoever is of my political trust in the stations to comment and convey our message, as long as the leader has no voice of his own like all the others in Parliament”, it is the CDS who loses out, concludes Rodrigues dos Santos.

Early elections to “neutralize internal opposition”

In an anticipation move, to “neutralize internal opposition”, Rodrigues dos Santos should announce, this Friday, the re-candidacy for the leadership of the CDS, as the Observer advances.

The publication states that Rodrigues dos Santos should, therefore, anticipate the elections for November, or at the latest, December.

Elections should be held in January, but Rodrigues dos Santos wants to “anticipate the party congress and force elections” to capitalize on the good municipal result, according to the Observer.

The idea is to ensure that “the internal opposition will have less margin to win the congress”, emphasizes the same publication.

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