Suggesting he will stand for a second term, Portugal’s President Marcelo told a conference in Lisbon on Friday that what has happened to centre-right parties in the European elections “is very worrying”. He expects a “crisis in the Portuguese centre-right for the next few years” and a growth in the left.
Necessary balance will therefore need to come from a president from the centre-right, he told his audience.
Bizarrely, Marcelo was speaking in English when he gave the message to the Luso-American Foundation, and it was an event that he wasn’t even meant to be officially attending.
But his words have been taken as the strongest clues yet that when his five-year mandate comes up for renewal in 2021, he will be ready to run again.
A former president the PSD centre-right party that has slipped so much in popularity since the austerity years, Marcelo has been criticised for his intervention which comes as the country limbers up for a summer of campaigning ahead of October’s legislative elections.
Says Expresso, one PSD grandee dubbed the predictions “incredible. It’s (like) having a funeral before someone died”.
Leader of the PSD Rui Rio however made light of the vision, calling it “optimistic and superficial”.
“The crisis isn’t just of the centre-right”, he said. “It is across the board…”