Santana Lopes may return to Lisbon Câmara

FORMER Prime Minister, Pedro Santana Lopes, may seek a return to his old job as President of Lisbon Câmara. Although a formal announcement has not been forthcoming, it is believed that he has already warned his successor, Carmona Rodrigues, that he is thinking of returning in the near future.

The former Prime Minister, still the current leader of the Social Democrats Party (PSD), has already made clear he will not occupy the seat he won in parliament and that he has been consulting friends over his future. Manuel Frexes, a supporter of Santana Lopes and president of the organisation Social Democratic Authorities, reminded people that the former Prime Minister was the “elected President of Lisbon Câmara” and, therefore, is fully entitled to serve out his mandate.

At the Lisbon Câmara, there was a growing feeling that Santana Lopes may return to his duties on Monday March 14, two days after he formally ceases to be Prime Minister. Opposition sources said that the possible return of Santana Lopes was causing unease, fear and rebellion.

Communist councillor, António Abreu, said that Santana Lopes’s return would be “lamentable”. The leader of the Socialist concelhia, Miguel Coelho, acknowledged that Santana Lopes was within his legal rights to seek a return to Lisbon Câmara. But he also said that Carmona Rodrigues was running the câmara in a more “serene” manner. “Under Carmona Rodrigues, the problems of Parque Mayer were resolved in just three months. This proved impossible in the three years of Santana Lopes. His return would be a retrogressive step for Lisbon,” he said.

Carmona Rodrigues was in Tenerife at the end of last week. But, in earlier comments, he said he hoped that Santana Lopes would not want to return to the câmara, although he acknowledged he was fully entitled to do so.