78-year-old “successful” businessman is first official presidential candidate

Plans to “reform the Portuguese political system and electoral laws”, a mixture of right and left-wing policies and a choice to not seek support from any political parties are the cornerstones of the presidential candidature of 78-year-old Henrique Neto – the first official presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.

Neto, a successful businessman who acted as MP for the Socialist Party (PS) in the 90s, officially presented his bid for presidency on Wednesday (March 26) at Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon.

Speaking to a small audience, the candidate said he is “saddened” by the state of the country and its “undemocratic way of functioning” and will soon present his “clear, strategic vision” with “innovative solutions”.

In his 21-minute speech, he explained how he wants to “end the current model in which MPs, the representatives of the people, are elected by political parties and mean nothing to most of the Portuguese that elected them”.

Although the Portuguese Constitution only allows Parliament to make such changes, the founder of the hugely-successful mould engineering company Iberomoldes believes the changes can be achieved with “wisdom, permanent contact with different sectors of the Portuguese society and also some imagination and creativity”.

It is this kind of “creativity” that he plans to extend to his policies.

“Portugal has problems that need left-wing solutions, but others that need right-wing solutions,” the candidate stated, adding that his campaign will present ideals from both sides of the political spectrum.
He stressed that his candidature is not supported by any political party and thus won’t have to worry about garnering more or less support.

Henrique Neto is the first official candidate of Portugal’s 2016 presidential elections.

Much has been said about those who may be running, such as political commentator Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Socialist poet Manuel Alegre, but for now Neto remains as the only candidate.

Photo: MANUEL DE ALMEIDA/LUSA
Caption: Henrique Neto is a former MP for the Socialist party PS