The result achieved by Carlos Moedas in Lisbon is being seen as a real bucket of cold water for Rui Rio’s possible opponents in the race for the PSD leadership.
A week before the municipal elections, Rui Rio opened the game — more or less. In an interview with Renascença radio, the leader of the Social Democrats stated that he would not re-apply if, on the night of September 26, the PSD achieved a result “worse, equal to or very little better” than in 2017, the worst in the party’s history. . At the same time, refused to come up with a number in his view, synonymous with defeat or, on the contrary, victory.
Over the following weekdays, the approach was the same, with Rio saying that the Chambers do not all have the same “political weight“, thus dodging to give journalists a number.
Now, with the ballot boxes closed, the votes counted and the day of balance, we are trying to understand, in the social democratic hosts, if what happened during the day of yesterday, with the balance of local power to lean to PS, but with Carlos Moedas winning — surprisingly — the Lisbon Chamber from Fernando Medina, it was effectively a victory or a defeat.
This morning, Hugo Soares, former parliamentary leader of the PSD, said that, despite the losses, the result of the PS does not constitute “a yellow or orange card” from the Portuguese to António Costa. Speaking to Antena 1, Luís Montenegro’s political ally tried, according to Público, to devalue his party’s results, preferring to focus on the 2023 legislative. the fact that the PSD is not yet a “alternative“.
This analysis diverges from that of Rui Rio – who, during the night, stated that the PSD has more chances of being able to win the legislatives in 2023 -, but also of David justino, vice-president of the party, who considers that the pillars of António Costa’s governance are now weaker and that the prime minister’s ability to find solutions for the country has become “tremble“. “He [António Costa] I wanted to turn this into a kind of referendum on governance. Went wrong. And it will have implications for governance,” he said.
Luís Filipe Menezes, former mayor of Gaia, admitted in recent weeks that he too would present a candidacy for the leadership of the PSD if, in a scenario of manifestly negative results, an alternative did not appear. But given yesterday’s results, the hypothesis will not materialize.
“I’m out of this war. Those who think about it have to consider two situations – on the one hand, the result and the victory of Lisbon is manifestly very, very important, but also the fact that some polls, and despite the relative success of the PSD, if there were legislatives at this time, there would be a great advantage for the PS,” he explained, referring to the polls launched during the election night and which referred to the result in legislative elections, where the PS appeared close to the absolute majority.
Rui Rio, in the aforementioned interview with Renascença, also stated that the analysis of the results would be made “with time“, a message that he reinforced throughout election night whenever journalists questioned him about his future. At a certain point he revealed, however, that if he had not achieved the results he had proposed, he would give an immediate answer, as it would be “evident“.