Photo: JOSÉ GARRANCHO/BARLAVENTO

Former deputy mayor joins Portimão mayoral race

Former deputy mayor of Portimão Luís Carito will be running for mayor of Portimão in this year’s local elections after being absolved last year of criminal charges relating to the controversial ‘Cidade do Cinema’ project which aimed to turn the town into something of a European Bollywood.

Carito received the most media attention out of the nine defendants for having grabbed a paper out of the hands of a PJ police inspector and swallowed it during a house search, having later said: “I didn’t know what was on it.”

But as Carito pointed out at the presentation of his mayoral bid at Praia da Rocha’s Santa Catarina fortress last week, “I was absolved of all charges”.

“I calmly waited for this case to clarify all situations and all accusations that were made against me,” said the 64-year-old candidate, who is running as an independent.

Initially it was reported that Carito’s bid would be supported by PSD, CDS-PP and Iniciativa Liberal although he had been elected in the past as a member of the Socialist Party (PS). However, PSD and Iniciativa Liberal quickly clarified that they will not be backing Carito. CDS-PP has yet to officially confirm whether it will support Carito.

Said Carito, his return to politics has been prompted by his disagreement with the policies carried out by the current administration led by Isilda Gomes.

“I think many people in Portimão feel that the town is stopped, without any prospects for the future, without a strategy. I think it is my responsibility to make the town take a new route to a happier and brighter future,” he said, adding that the project that the previous administration which he had been a part of was “suspended”.

“I don’t know why because the people who continued were part of the same party,” said Carito, who denied any responsibility relating to the huge debt that the local council accumulated while the administration he was part of was in charge, saying that the debt was “perfectly under control”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com