Algarve MP Mendes Bota retires

Algarve MP Mendes Bota retires

After nearly 24 years as an MP, the Algarve’s very own Mendes Bota has retired from his parliamentary life in Portugal to take on a new job at the office of European Commissioner of Research, Innovation and Science, Carlos Moedas.
Known for his human rights campaigns, Bota said his goodbyes on Wednesday (November 26).
“It was with great pleasure that I have served my country,” the PSD deputy for the Algarve told his peers in a short farewell speech, followed by a standing ovation from all parties.
Although PSD and PS are usually at each other’s throats, parliamentary leader for the Socialist Party Ferro Rodrigues considered Mendes Bota to be a “defender of representative democracy and the rule of law” and added he hopes Bota will take on his new role with the same “dedication and enthusiasm” he showed in parliament.
Communist MP António Filipe wished Mendes Bota “all the best” and stressed his importance over the years, while parliamentary leader for the Left Bloc (BE) Pedro Filipe Soares encouraged Bota to “continue strongly defending his ideals”.
José Luís Ferreira, MP for green party PEV ‘Os Verdes’, said that despite their “ideological differences”, Bota was always a “nice and cordial person” and also wished him “all the best”.
Following his last parliamentary appearance, Mendes Bota explained that after 24 years “the time had come to retire”, especially as the invitation to work for Moedas was not the sort that comes round every day.
Without explaining exactly what he’ll be doing in his new job, the 59-year-old politician said he was excited as he likes Brussels and believes it will be an “interesting challenge” to work with Carlos Moedas.
Bota is expected to start work on Monday (December 1).
In Portugal he leaves behind a career that has seen him become one of the country’s most active promoters of human rights. Just last week he was awarded the “Scandinavian Human Dignity Award 2014” by the Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers non-governmental organisation for his tireless campaigns opposing prostitution, violence against women and modern slavery.
An avid defender of regionalisation for the Algarve, and former mayor of Loulé between1982-1985, Bota is also known for his campaigns to repair railway toilets and censure pop-up nightclubs that keep people awake at night during the summer.
He became an MP in 1991 and was recently the president of Portugal’s Parliamentary Committee for Ethics, Citizenship and Communication.