Party leaders openly blame each other for impasse
Since PS Azores’ leader Vasco Cordeiro announced his party will not be supporting the government programme of the ‘winning’ centre-right coalition, PSD leader Luís Montenegro and CHEGA leader André Ventura have been openly bickering, blaming each other for the impasse.
Ventura today has reiterated his party’s availability for such an agreement – but this far, Montenegro has not only refused to countenance it before voting on the Azores’ government programme has taken place, he has done so in a way to challenge CHEGA: either it votes ‘for the programme’ or it ‘falls into the arms of the PS’ and further political crisis.
Speaking to journalists in Lisbon’s Sobral de Monte Agraço district, André Ventura refused to admit that his party is “between a rock and a hard place”, saying the responsibility lies with the PSD/CDS-PP/PPM coalition.
But while Ventura insists “informal talks” are taking place “in the Azores on this matter” that “are evolving”, Montenegro has said “there is no” negotiation in the Azores, and “there is no point in dreaming about it”.
For voters, both here and in the Azores, it is clear someone is ‘not telling the truth’ and/ or playing political games, which doesn’t augur well considering elections here are in four weeks’ time, and the electorate is not particularly enamoured with Mr Montenegro.
According to Ventura, it is a question of answering “a basic question” – if there is a right wing majority, but the PS has more votes than the PSD and CHEGA, will the PSD accept the forming of a right-wing government with CHEGA, or will it enable the PS to take power?
In Ventura’s mindset:”The PSD leader has to say what he’s going to do, not saying anything is a bad omen for democracy and shows some political cowardice.”
The issue is equally a bad omen for the country’s own legislative elections, which could conceivably end up in a similar mess.