New Mayor’s priority is to tear down election billboards

LISBON CÂMARA’S newly elected president, Carmona Rodrigues, has reiterated his intention to negotiate cross-party to establish a broad pact to govern the city. He also said that his first measure would be to take down all election billboards cluttering the city.

With the election of nine councillors (eight PSD and one CDS/PP), the right wing parties hold the majority on the council. The left wing and centrist parties – PS, CDU and Bloco de Esquerda – managed to capture eight other wards.

In this way, a consensual governance of Lisbon depends on Ribeiro e Castro, leader of CDS/PP, who could refuse a post election pact with the PSD. If he does, CDS/PP will act as a counter balance between the Social Democrats and the left. Carmona Rodrigues commented: “I’m not going to make party preferences, instead I will talk to all parties and see which ones identify with us and our projects for the city.” Asked by journalists what his first act as new Mayor of Lisbon would be, he said: “To clear away all billboards left over from the elections campaign, which are an eyesore.”

Maria da Luz Rosinha, president of Vila Franca de Xira Câmara, won the presidency of the Junta Metropolitana de Lisboa (JML), the Lisbon Metropolitan Council, after last Sunday’s vote in which a leftist coalition bagged eight of the 18 Greater Lisbon municipal wards, against five by the PS socialists.

In the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, a PCP-Greens coalition won in eight wards, of which Alcochete, Barreiro and Sesimbra were taken by the PS, who also hold onto the presidency of councils in Almada, Moita, Palmela, Seixal and Setúbal. The Socialists also held onto council majorities in Amadora, Montijo, Vila Franca de Xira, Odivelas and Loures. Lisbon, Sintra, Mafra and Cascais (all wealthy boroughs) not surprisingly held onto a PSD majority, although Oeiras was lost to independent and controversial candidate Isaltino Morais (see last week’s edition of The Resident).