Former deputy mayor of Porto Paulo Morais – well-known for his condemnation of corruption – announced on Thursday (April 9) that he will be running for presidency in Portugal’s upcoming 2016 elections.
With a clear goal to “fight corruption” and shake-up Portugal’s political system, the second official presidential candidate said he has decided to run because he feels he “relates” to citizens.
“I believe the regime needs a huge regeneration in terms of executive, legislative and judicial power, as well as in the presidency of the Republic, an institution that has been losing credibility over the years,” he told Lusa news agency, after having made the announcement in an interview with Correio da Manhã.
Morais, a university lecturer in Porto, says he will only begin to accept support after he presents his goals clearly on April 18 at the Piolho Café in Porto.
Marking corruption as Portugal’s “biggest evil”, he said he wants to “increase transparency” and “recover the respect for the main constitutional principles that have become systematically forgotten, such as the separation of powers”.
Another aspect he insists on changing also is the ability for MPs to work for outside interests while apparently representing the people.
“This can’t be accepted in a democratic society that we want more ‘hygienic’ and clear,” he explained, adding that it was time to tackle “the systematic lies of Portuguese politics”.
“We permanently watch politicians promise everything, but fulfilling nothing when they are elected,” he added, stressing that it is in the president’s remit to dismiss a prime minister if he doesn’t follow his programme.
That is his kind of “active” president Portugal can expect from him, he told his interviewer.
Paulo Morais is Portugal’s second official president candidate.
Businessman Henrique Neto was the first to announce his candidature on March 26, promising 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 (see story https://www.portugalresident.com/78-year-old-%E2%80%9Csuccessful%E2%80%9D-businessman-is-first-official-presidential-candidate)
Ex-union leader “preparing candidature”
Although he still refuses to officially confirm his candidature, ex-union leader Manuel Carvalho da Silva continues to be named “an extremely likely presidential candidate” by Portuguese media.
Jornal de Notícias has reported that the former secretary general of workers’ union CGTP already has a “working group” preparing Carvalho da Silva’s bid for presidency.
Speaking to the newspaper, the 66-year-old said his candidature is “still a possibility”.