The president of the PSD said, this Thursday, that he will take responsibility for the result of the local councils, without pointing out “a magic number” of cameras to win, and guaranteed that he is not “stuck in place”.
In an interview with Observador radio, centered largely on municipalities, Rui Rio, who completes this Thursday three years as leader of the PSD, reaffirmed that these elections “are not only vital for the president of the PSD”, but also “for the party and for the country”, considering that they are “even more important than than legislative ones ”.
The Social Democrat rejected that the PSD was late in choosing municipal candidates, saying that “nothing” is failing in the process and emphasizing that, in 46 years of history, this is the first time that the party will manage municipalities with a president who was a mayor“.
“This only increases the responsibility I have for myself. I know what I’m talking about, give me the benefit: I know what I’m doing ”, he said, rejecting criticisms such as those that have already been made publicly by the current Mayor of Cascais, Carlos Carreiras, who said that the autarchic process in the party “is a non-existence”.
“This is the worst, the most incompetent, being he the first responsible for the disgrace of 2017, do you think I have anything to learn? ”, he mocked, although admitting that Carreiras is again the party’s candidate in Cascais,“ if it is proposed by the council and accepted by the district ”.
Regarding specific names, the president of the PSD did not commit to any (only from March 1 will begin to be announced), but admitted that the deputy and doctor Ricardo Baptista Leite “fits well” in the profile that is intended for Lisbon, but that “there are others” that he also considers to fit in, like Filipa Roseta.
Rio also dismissed the possibility that the head of the list could be from the CDS-PP, should a coalition with this party advance in the capital. “Not here in Lisbon,” he said.
Rui Moreira “is not a reliable person”
For Porto, the PSD leader was asked about the possibility of the PSD candidate being Vladimiro Feliz, his former vice-president in that autarchy, a hypothesis that he did not rule out, but saying “be suspicious” in his assessment because he could only “say well ”Of your name.
On the contrary, Rui Rio was very critical of Rui Moreira, completely ruling out the possibility that the PSD could come to support his candidacy, even after a dinner that involved social-democratic leaders was reported by the weekly Expresso.
“It is someone who has a dinner, who is private, who puts it in public and with a lie about what happened there, who had been invited to be a candidate for PSD. It’s not a reliable person“, He considered.
According to Rio, Rui Moreira proposed to the Social Democrats that they should not present a candidate in Porto and include people from the PSD on their list, which was rejected by the party. “We opposed the opposite: you are not a candidate and we heard you when choosing the candidate for the Chamber of Porto, and he said no,” he said.
Rui Rio insisted that for a long time he has warned the type of person who is the current Porto mayor, alluding to the judicial process he is not being accused of malfeasance. “Has real estate interests in a given municipality and goes to the mayor of that municipality, to the point of having a heavy and serious accusation for having mixed municipal management with the management of his family’s real estate assets ”.
The PSD leader also insisted that he would never support a candidate like Rui Moreira. “I do not want to win municipalities at any price, I will not support a candidate who does not match the model that I believe must be that of a mayor,” he shot.
“I’m not clinging to the place”
Asked how he saw the possibility that MEP Paulo Rangel was preparing a candidacy for the leadership of the PSD – and for that reason he refused to run for the Porto Chamber -, Rio said he wanted to leave a “general” message, saying he was not addressing specifically to the former parliamentary leader of the PSD.
“People who have looked at me for many years do not need to prepare anything after the local authorities. Sand i assume my responsibilities. If I see that it went wrong, what am I doing here? ”, He asked.
However, the PSD’s president refused to name a “magic number” of cameras that the party will have to win in order to consider that it had a good result, stressing that this will also depend on the importance of the cameras that will win or lose.
“There is no magic number. I want to arrive in October, or December, and have more mayors and have many more elected, that’s when we took a beating and that is the most important thing for the party “, he recalls, adding:”Clinging to the place I’m not, I’m doing a job ”.
Asked if he has spoken to Passos Coelho, the answer was clear: “Little”. But the current leader was not afraid to leave a compliment to his predecessor: “He is not there, and, well, meddling and talking and wanting to intervene”.
Rio further ruled out the possibility of Isaltino Morais to be candidate for PSD and the possibility of having party support in Oeiras almost at all. The Social Democrat also rejected that he can ‘impose’ the name of ex-leader Pedro Santana Lopes in any chamber, saying that he will only be a candidate if the will of both parties exists in any municipality.
Rio again excluded any pre-electoral coalition with Chega, but said he could do nothing if, after the elections, a PSD elected official decided to make deals with the party led by André Ventura.
“I can advise that no, but I have no power, people after being elected do as they want, it applies to me and other parties, ”he said.
Regarding the intention announced by the PS to present a draft amendment to the electoral law for municipalities in order to correct the conditions for the submission of independent candidates, Rio deplored the general attitude – “the PS at the slightest challenge retreats” – but did not dismiss the possibility of adjustments to this specific diploma.
“I have to understand the criticisms that are at stake on the part of the independents. If they are fair, then I think you have to look, if they are not fair, ”he said.
On the response to the pandemic, Rui Rio admitted that he agreed with the relief of the measures at Christmas, something of which he now regrets. “I didn’t say, as Angela Merkel said, that ‘there is no Christmas’. And I should have said. The Prime Minister should also have said it, and the President of the Republic should also have said it ”, he said.