In this strangest of presidential ‘races’ – in which the front-runner still hasn’t admitted he’s even running – outsider Tiago Mayan Gonçalves has continued to make headlines.
This is the lawyer who stressed the borough lockdowns brought in before the country entered the latest State of Emergency were “totally illegal” (click here).
His stand preceded President Marcelo going public with the admission that ‘yes, essentially they were’: they couldn’t be seen as impositions, he explained (after the government had imposed them) more ‘aggravated recommendations’ (click here).
Bizarrely, police went on to enforce the unconstitutional lockdowns, which showed many that ‘all is not right’ when it comes to the way rights and freedoms have been affected during this pandemic.
Now, Mr Gonçalves has accused President Marcelo of being “a spokesperson for the government”.
“The government is adrift, increasingly authoritarian and does not have a president to restrain it”, he told TVI yesterday.
“The government is always using words of the president to sustain its narratives”, he added, suggesting that ‘in the end’ the president is simply a “distraction for the government’s incompetence”.
Unlikely to get anywhere in the presidential ‘race’, Mr Gonçalves points of view however may well win his minority party (Iniciativa Liberal) increased support.
For now, IL has only one MP in parliament – but the party proved ‘relevant’ in the creation of the centre-right coalition that seized power from PS Socialists in the Azores recently – and frustrations over measures seen as authoritarian are being seen throughout national society (witness the protest in Lisbon today and all the recent ones that have been taking place).
As to the global clawback of citizens’ rights in the name of ‘controlling the pandemic’, talk show presenter Nick Ferrari remarked on his Breakfast show in London today that one thing is clear, “when governments take these rights, they never, ever give them back”.