PSD elections are less than a year away, a time interval that, seeming long, starts to run. Miguel Pinto Luz, Paulo Rangel, Luís Montenegro are ready to throw themselves in the head, but the unknown Pedro Passos Coelho can make them retreat.
THE Public advances this Thursday that if Pedro Passos Coelho resurrect and return to the PSD, as will be considered, the possible candidates for the leadership of the party are left with no room to advance, anticipating a duel between Rio and Passos.
The municipal elections are the great test of Rio’s leadership and, soon after, in 2022, there are direct elections and congress. One of the names pointed out for the PSD candidate’s race for prime minister in the 2023 legislatures is that of Miguel Pinto Luz, which is preparing to return to being a candidate for party leadership
Pinto Luz is a critic of the current leader. Last week, in an interview with TSF, he blamed Rui Rio for failing to unite the party and reminded some leaders that the current leadership has forgotten, such as Maria Luís Albuquerque, Hugo Soares or Marco António Costa.
The paintings that he considered to be of “enormous quality and relevance”, are passistas and were supporters of Luís Montenegro in the last direct. According to the daily, it is on this “montenegrist” terrain that Pinto Luz fights, hoping that the former parliamentary leader will not run for leadership.
Luis Montenegro it has remained silent, but some do not forget the 48% it obtained in the direct elections a year ago. There are also those who defend that, with such a result, Montenegro cannot fail to be on the starting grid in the next electoral dispute.
However, it safeguards the Public, there are also those who doubt that Montenegro will return in the next dispute, mainly because its support base may be fragmented, after the internal evaluation of its candidacy concluded that there were avoidable failures that allowed Rio’s victory.
Another figure on the ground is Paulo Rangel, who, despite having been a supporter of Rio, has already shown himself to be unhappy with the posture adopted by the social-democratic leader. Rangel calls for strong opposition and even declined the president’s invitation to be the head of the PSD list in Porto.
In the past, a dispute between these two heavyweights would be unthinkable, but there are now those who consider this scenario possible. According to the daily, there are those who consider that the two dispute almost the same internal electorate, but those closest to Rangel consider that the MEP is more comprehensive.
For now, Rui Rio keeps his focus on the October test: the municipal elections. For the PSD president, these elections are “absolutely essential” and, “more important than the number of deputies”, is the number of mayors that the party will be able to elect.
Rui Rio justified that, having the PSD had “very bad results in 2013 and 2017”, if this year repeats “a negative result”, it will start “to seriously lose its implantation” in the country.
“More important than the number of deputies who are elected, is the number of parish council leaders, members of municipal assembly and members of city councils, councilors and mayors”, he defended, arguing that “the more people the PSD have elected on the ground to do politics, local politics, the stronger it is ”.
“You can then win some more deputies or lose some deputies, the PSD is guaranteed because it is in the territory,” he explained, stressing that, “when it loses in municipalities, how he lost in 2013 and 2017, and already in 2009 I had lost a little bit, obviously the matter is serious ”.
The Social Democratic leader spoke on Wednesday night at the end of the first of a series of autonomous training conferences organized by the party, the Francisco Sá Carneiro Institute (IFSC), the Social Democratic Mayors (ASD) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Association and spread across networks.
At the end of the session, dedicated to the district of Beja and which took place via videoconference, Rio guaranteed that he is “strongly committed” in municipalities, and assumed the “responsibilities of having a good and positive result for the PSD”, which involves increasing the national “implantation in the territory”.
“For this, each one’s vocation, each one’s commitment, is important, but it is also important to have some training” in order to “master the subjects better, know how to organize oneself better mentally and argue better with the opponents”, he pointed out the president of the PSD, who stressed that “it is the first time in the history of the party that a president who has a strong autarkic brand” will run a local election.
In 2017, the PSD had its worst municipal result (and which led to the resignation of Passos Coelho): the Social Democrats lost eight chambers in relation to 2013 and saw the PS strengthen the municipal leadership, which started to lead 161 chambers across the country (11 more than in 2013), 159 alone and two in coalition.
Four years ago, the Social Democrats won 98 municipal presidencies (79 alone and 19 in coalition), although without great variations in terms of votes and percentages compared to 2013, having added 16.08% of the votes alone (in 2013) were 16.70%).
At the end of January, the presidents of PSD and CDS announced that they will sign a mid-February framework agreement for municipalities that exclude the possibility of coalitions with Chega.