Euro MP ditches post and party to run for Portugal’s 2015 elections

Outspoken legal eagle Marinho e Pinto has been taking everyone by surprise since he secured a seat in the European elections for the alternative MPT-Earth Party in May.
First, he declared Brussels was a sham – days after taking up his seat – then he insisted on still claiming the €18,000-a-month MEP salary (although he has reportedly failed to make the deadline for filing his declaration of income) and now he has announced that he is giving up his post and forming a totally new political party to run in next year’s landmark legislative elections. That is, he is giving up his post only in 2015.
Until that time, he will continue to claim the “vastly inflated” Euro MP salary that he has decried so much.
“I want to be in a party that doesn’t put personal and family interests in front of those of citizens,” Marinho e Pinto told reporters.
He is being supported in this endeavour by former Socialist party member Eurico Figueiredo, who has said that his friend has been “trying to find his way since the European elections”.
Looking back at recent statements, this would seem to be true. The former lawyers’ association boss has admitted that the only reason he ran for them was because “they were the first to come up after the end of my mandate at the lawyers’ association”.
This was around the same time he said of his newly-elected position: “I realised something I didn’t know before: the European Parliament has no use. It is make-believe. They do not run anything, despite all the illusions and proclamations, which are lies.”
His behaviour and statements have left the conservationist MPT-Partido da Terra baffled.
Talking to the Resident last week, the party’s president John Rosas Baker said Marinho e Pinto seemed to have had a massive tantrum and “thrown all his toys out of the pram”.
Others too have also been left scratching their heads as the story was featured on prime-time news.
João Oliveira, president of the Communist Party’s (PCP) parliamentary group, suggested Marinho e Pinto’s eventual party may be “another big disappointment” as it is in danger of “giving names and faces more importance than the political party.”
Oliveira also warned that the politician’s openness to join either the PS or PSD in a new government shows that the Portuguese “don’t have much to look forward to”.
Francisco Louçã, former head of the Left Bloc, has also expressed serious doubts in a short opinion piece for Público newspaper.
Like many others, Louçã questioned why the MPT turncoat had decided to stay on as an MEP, enjoying all the benefits of the salary he claims is too high, until the next legislative elections.
Louçã gave the example of former Communist MEP Barros Moura, who gave up his post after parting ways with his party.
It is a clear example that “not all politicians are the same”, concluded Louçã.
Meantime, MPT has one other MEP, also a lawyer, José Faria in the European Parliament – and he continues to support the party and beliefs that helped him win his seat.
“He is actually being incredibly active,” John Rosas Baker told us. “He has joined a number of committees and is even deputy chairman of one of them.
“He honestly believes a lot can be done for Portugal in Brussels, and he is working hard to do it.”