By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]
Local elections were held across Portugal on October 11 to elect câmara, parish council and municipal assembly presidents.
In Faro, the capital of the Algarve, Social Democratic (PSD) party candidate Macário Correia celebrated victory, having defeated the existing socialist (PS) Câmara President, José Apolinário.
“A new cycle has started today, a new dynamic for Faro,” said Macário Correia during his victory speech.
He won the election by a margin of 130 votes against the PS party candidate, having formed a coalition between the PSD and other parties as part of his campaign.
Macário Correia said that despite the disputed victory, “the coalition will have the conditions to govern” because it has won five out of nine councillors, and guaranteed that despite not having won the majority in the municipal assembly, which was won by the PS party, he will “find consensus” among all the political forces.
Despite losing the presidency, José Apolinário has said that he is willing to remain as a councillor in Faro Câmara.
Meanwhile, a total of 10 out of 16 Câmara Presidents across the region have remained in power. These include for the socialist party (PS) Júlio Barroso in Lagos, António Eusébio in São Brás de Alportel, Manuel da Luz in Portimão and Francisco Leal in Olhão.
Despite Francisco Leal retaining his presidency, the left-wing Bloco de Esquerda (BE) party also received enough votes to have a councillor in the Câmara. This is the only councillor’s seat won in the region by the BE party.
The PS party saw three new Câmara presidents: Adelino Soares in Vila do Bispo, José Amarelinho in Aljezur and Jorge Botelho in Tavira.
Despite Macário Correia leaving Tavira to become a candidate for Faro, his fellow PSD party member Rui Amaro lost against Jorge Botelho by a total of 529 votes. Speaking after his defeat, Rui Amaro said he was not yet sure whether he would choose to remain in Tavira Câmara as a councillor.
Tavira Câmara will now have four PS councillors and three PSD councillors.
The social democratic (PSD) party also saw new Câmara presidents being elected this year including Rui André, who took the power from Carlos Tuta (PS) after 27 years.
Social democratic candidates who remained in power across the region include José Inácio in Lagoa, Desidério Silva in Albufeira, Seruca Emídio in Loulé, José Estevens in Castro Marim and Francisco Amaral in Alcoutim.
For Desidério Silva, this year’s elections were a major victory because as well as winning with 67.02 per cent of the votes, the candidates from his party also won the presidencies of all five parish councils in Albufeira.
“Governing this city is not the same as governing a city in the interior. Many people arrive everyday to the council and these results show that these people know the work that has been done,” said Desidério Silva.
Isabel Soares (PSD) also remains as the President for Silves Câmara, however, she lost the overall majority in the elections and will lose one councillor from her party. This means that Silves Câmara will have three PSD councillors, three PS councillors and one from the CDU party.
The votes for Isabel Soares dropped from 44.18 per cent during the 2005 elections to 39.54 per cent this year, with a total of 6,761 votes. Lisete Romão, the PS candidate for Silves Câmara, received 5,453 votes.
Mendes Bota, the leader of the PSD party in the Algarve, released a statement following the elections, announcing that his party were the overall winners in the region, having won more Câmara presidencies than the main PS opposition.
“It is true that we lost two Câmaras (Tavira and Vila do Bispo), but we won another two (Faro and Monchique) that are extremely emblematic. One is the capital of the district and the other is a council that was in the hands of the PS for more than 20 years,” said Mendes Bota.
Turn to page 11 to read about Algarve residents who are involved in the world of politics in the Algarve. Also read article on page 12 for a national view of the elections